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Jesus & power (1)

The kingdom of God is about power. If you told a Jewish person of Jesus’ time this, they would smile and nod their head vigorously as their mind raced to visions fueled by Daniel 2 and other Old Testament prophecies about how the kingdom of God would crush the kingdoms of the world. They would think about how good it had been under David & Solomon and how good it could be again. Yet when their King came, they sadly missed Him.

The kingdom of God is about power. If you told a Roman soldier of Jesus’ time this, he would smile and tell you to pick up his gear and carry it for him while he gave you a history lesson. He would speak of the Jew's subjugation to the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and finally the Romans. When your mile was done he would remind you that insurrection against Rome was punished by crucifixion.

The kingdom of God is about power. I came across a church’s website and for Easter they are going to have a drawing among those visiting and someone would receive a year’s worth of gas. Someone else would receive $250, and third guest would be given $100. Did I mention they had a "Click here to donate" button on every page of their website (including the newcomer and about us pages)? I’m going to go out on a limb and guessing that they don’t have too good of a handle on the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is about power. Tell an unbeliever that (and some believers), and they will smile and nod their head politely as conjures up pictures of church ladies, small children, and the sick and elderly.

The kingdom of God is about the power of love. The world’s kingdoms are about the love of power. At the beginning of His ministry you’ll remember that Jesus was tempted to go in this direction by Satan (Matthew 4:8ff, Luke 4:5ff). "Worship me," he said, "And you can have what I have." And what did he have? Millions of people under his thumb! People he could use, abuse, and grind down and then discard once they had served his purpose. No love for anyone, no seeking of their greatest good --- just unmitigated love of self-centered power. Jesus opted out of this from the very beginning!

Instead, He always used His power for others. His miraculous abilities brought healing to the sick, food to the hungry, and sight to the blind. His teaching brought hope, enlightenment, and faith. And He used the life God had given Him to live what He taught --- whether it was refusing to condemn a woman "caught" in adultery or getting on His knees to wash the feet of twelve "lords." Jesus is God living as man not primarily because of His power but because of the way He used it!
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