The perils of power - Hope 103.2

The perils of power

By David ReayThursday 8 Sep 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Luke 4:5-8

5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”

8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,

               ‘You must worship the Lord your God
                  and serve only him.’” (NLT)

Many Christians today lament the fact that the church has lost a lot of its former power and influence. It may not be a cause for lament. For many centuries, church and state were closely entwined. The church had wealth, power, influence. And yet its spiritual power was not great. It seems that as soon as the church lost its marginal and ‘outsider’ status, it lost its spiritual impact. The early church turned the world upside down not by lobbying politicians or accumulating wealth and legislating its morality. There was something, or someone, far more powerful at work.

The church has always been seduced by power. If only ‘our guys’ could be in power. If only we could win the media battle. If only we could pass some laws that would favour us. Nothing too wrong with having political and social power as long as we don’t confuse it with the real thing.

Jesus was tempted to be the sort of Messiah who would achieve his goals through military or political power. He would overthrow the hated Romans and Herodians. He would wipe out his enemies. No cross for him!

Jesus resisted because he knew real power takes a very different shape. Jesus reminds us that only as we resist the temptation to seize the wrong sort of power will we experience true power.

David Reay

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