Opening Thought – For someone who exudes all kinds of power all over the world, Jesus had an unusual distance from worldly power while in this world.
Myth – If I possess more worldly power, then I will have less worldly fear.
Jesus said “no” to worldly power
- Luke 4:5-6 – (not power but serving) generally worldly power
- John 6:12-15 – political power (or tell of Mark 14:46, 50, 55-62) John 19:11
- John 18:36 – personal power and privilege
- Matt. 26:50-54 – brute force power
- It’s temporary and derivative
- It weakens over time
- It does not have an outside source
1. Jesus reveals in one quick statement the significance of His power – Matt. 26:50-54
2. Paul demonstrates how this power operated inside the church – Eph. 6:10-12, 18-20; Phil. 1:12-14, 19
Application – Take your perpetual fear, and turn it into a fervent prayer.
Luke 4:5-8, John 18:33-37, John 6:12-15, Matthew 26:50-54
TALK IT OUT
- Abraham Lincoln stated, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Would you agree with that assessment? Why or why not? Give some examples.
- Read Luke 4:5-8 and Mark 8:36. In these passages, what priority does Jesus place above achieving worldly power and authority?
- In John 18:36, Jesus indicates that there is another world besides this one and that His kingdom is part of that other world. Read Psalm 102:25-27, Psalm 119:89 & 152, Matthew 24:35, 1 Corinthians 2:6, Colossians 3:1-4, 2 Peter 3:8-13, 1 John 2:15-17 and Revelation 21:1-4. According to these passages, what are some of the reasons we should place our trust and confidence in God instead of in this world?
- Read John 6:14-15 and Matthew 20:20-28. In these passages, how does Jesus’ view of power and authority compare with this world’s typical view of power and authority?
- Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, John 16:33, 1 John 4:4 and Matthew 28:18-20. We often become anxious when we find ourselves under the authority of those we do not trust. According to these verses, what would be a good first step in those instances? Why?
LIVE IT OUT
- According to Jesus, real leaders use their power and authority to serve people. What step can you take this week to better serve those whom you lead?
- How often do you pray for those in authority over you? Set aside some time this week to do that and then make it a regular practice.