John 19:10-11 NASB
“So Pilate said to Him, “Are you not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over Me at all, if it had not been given to you from above; for this reason the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”
I’m using the word “presumption” but the word that I really want to use is “audacity”. When I got up this morning, my mind was not in a good place. I have no idea why. Some of the things that get to me from time to time is the audacity that I see in others. And when I say “audacity”, what I mean is, those who exercise the assumption that they have the right to exercise their will, over the will of others. Putin in Russia, exercising his presumption that he has the right to exercise his will, over the will of the people in Ukraine, would be a prime example. It just irks me to no end. There are countless other examples within our own society also. Abortions would be another prime example. I’m going to stop myself here, because I could easily create a long list.
The thing is, I don’t like it when my mind starts to walk down those dark corridors. It’s not a place that I want to stay in.
And then God reminded me about the discussion between Pilate and Jesus. Pilate assumed that he was in the position of final authority regarding what happened next with Jesus.
This is Jesus, the “man” who walked on water and calmed the storm. The “man” who forgave others of their sins (who does that?). The “man” who healed multitudes of their diseases and physical ailments. The “man” who fed thousands with merger supplies. The “man” who said, “He who has seem me has seen the Father”.
And Pilate presumes that it is he that has the final authority. Pilate was wrong.
Then God reminded me of another Scripture where the slaves of the High Priest were taking Jesus prisoner in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:51-54 NASB: “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?” Jesus could have, but He didn’t.
And then God reminded me of one more Scripture where Jesus washed the disciples feet. (John 13:14-17).
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
That which we see, where those who assume to exercise their presumed authority over others, are not the end all. We have a righteous and Holy God that we serve, and irrespective of what we see, that might demonstrate to the contrary, God is indeed in control.
And if Jesus, the Son of the living God. could place Himself under the control of those who assumed that they were in control, in order to fulfill the will of God the Father, even unto His own death, then who are we to do otherwise? If God is in control, then He is in control. One course of action validates that reality, and another denies it.
And what does God’s Word tell us about obeying those who are in authority over us? “Pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17). Romans 13:1-5 also comes to mind. As Christians, we really need to read Romans 13:1-5 carefully and take this to heart.
No, we do not violate God’s will in order to appease our rulers, but neither are we to mean mouth them either. Romans 13:7 NASB: “Pay to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.” The world may criticize and mean mouth our leaders, but Christians . . . ? I personally don’t see any Scriptures at all that validates that. Do you? I’m thinking that the Internet would be a lot quieter if Christians actively followed the guidance that God’s Word gives us on this matter.
The hard and difficult part of course, is learning to differentiate between voicing an opinion about a policy, or even a particular doctrine, and an associated individual. One sees a lot of this happening when comments are exchanged between two opposing perspectives on numerous multi media Internet apps. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to being in the world but not of the world, doesn’t it? We are instructed to defend the faith and call a false prophet out if what they preach is contrary to the Gospel that we have been given, but we are not instructed to mean mouth those who are placed in authority over us with regard to civic matters.
And then there is the bigger picture in where we place our confidence in. Are we focused more on earthly kingdoms or God’s Kingdom, God’s will or our own attempts at orchestrating our will. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” No opposing crossed purposes there, are there?
So I was moved out of the dark corridor I had somehow entered into. I was reminded that when God says He is in control, He means in all situations, according to God’s purposes and God’s will and His eventual glory. If Jesus, could lay His life down in following the Father’s will, then who are we to do otherwise?
And as sure as the Word of God is, there indeed will come a time when every knee shall bow and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings (Philippians 2:10-11). And then Jesus Himself will subject Himself to the Father so that God will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28).
And finally, God reminded me of one last Scripture where Jesus told us that if our eye offends us, to pluck it out (Matthew 18:9). That would leave us with one eye wouldn’t it? One eye to focus on one thing!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
[…] Presumption […]
Thank you, Amy!
God is the One in control. All the time; whether we “feel” in control, or are out of control. When we get to Heaven, and get to see everything clearly, I think we’ll be surprised at how much God was in control vs how much we thought we controlled.
Good points, Bruce. Thank you for a thought-provoking post.
My pleasure, Kathy. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Blessings!
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Excellent post Bruce. There’s so much good stuff in there I will need to read it again, especially the part about Jesus allowing himself to be put under Pilate’s control to fulfill God’s Will. What a lesson.
Thanks, Nicola. When Jesus said “learn from Me”, He wasn’t kidding. I’m always amazed at what God’s Holy Spirit shows us and how it all fits together in areas that we don’t always suspect. Always learning! Blessings!
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Yes it’s fresh bread always 😀
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