Then Pilate said to Him, ‘‘Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have [a]power to crucify You, and power to release You?” (John 19:10 NKJV).
Jesus is still standing before Pilate. He wants to free him; but the religious leaders and the crowd want him (Jesus) crucified. Pilate continues to interrogate him; but he would not respond. In his frustration and anger, Pilate asked Jesus; ‘‘Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have [a]power to crucify You, and power to release You?” (John 19:10b). Jesus retorted; “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (John 19:11a).
Both Pilate and Jesus were speaking about power. To Pilate, his idea of power is that of a delegated authority to an individual from his or her superior. It’s interesting to note that, at that time, Pilate was working under the authority of the Roman Emperor. As governor of Judea, he had to do the bidding of his superior in Rome; while at the same time, trying to please the Jewish leadership in Israel.
Jesus’ reference to power is in relation to his divine authority he has in heaven prior to coming to this world. Similarly, God could bestow his authority on anyone to accomplish his (God’s) purpose in this world. Ultimately, we all need to acknowledge God as the source of all human power; as we exercise authority over others.
Power bestowed on anyone is time sensitive; because, it’s limited. We all have to know that any kind of power entrusted to us could be stripped away; either by God or man. Leaders therefore must be cautious not to lord over their subordinates; but rather, use their influence to serve those under them. This can only be possible, when we live a life that’s pleasing to God.
We all know that, power corrupts; whether given to us by God or man. Many leaders have ruled their subjects with iron hands; thereby making life unbearable for them. One of the gifts God has given to humanity is “freedom.” People always want to be free to move about, speak, enjoy life to the full and contribute to build their communities. Anything that, tries to inhibit such freedom could lead to anarchy and rebelliousness.
This explains why some people are often wary of any form of power wielded by their fellow human beings; whether such leaders are in politics or business. This calls for fidelity on the part of all leaders who are entrusted to lead, to render service to the maximum benefit of those under them.
Unfortunately, some leaders do hold onto their positions to a point where they think they can use their power to do whatever they want. For us Christians, we need to remind ourselves that, every position we occupy have been given to us by God to serve humanity; as explained by Jesus, who told Pilate; “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11a). May it not be said of us, that, because of hatred and jealousy, we used our power to impact others negatively.
As always, let’s continue to hold each other’s hand and pray for ourselves as the coming of Jesus draws closer. Please, do send this study to your contacts as well.
Dr. Charles Mantey
Disiciples Revival Church
NOTE: My second book titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives has just being released. This is a great study material on love. Get your copy at Amazon.
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