Morning: Matt. 20:17-28; Judg. 11:29-17:13; Psa. 58
Often, we have witnessed our Lord exercise His divine authority and speak of His power as that which lies on an equal plain with the Father. Yet, in the occasion where the mother of Zebedee comes to Jesus requesting that He grant the right hand and the left of His throne in the kingdom to her two sons, Jesus humbles His power beneath that of the Father. “To sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father,” replies Jesus (Matt. 20:23). It is important to put things in perspective sometimes. While Jesus does handle the authority of the Father as the only begotten Son of the Father, He still remains in obedience to the Father.
Power is a delicate business in our world. No matter what it is that we speak about there is a power that exists, and that power must be respected. When that power is usurped, mishandled, or disrespected, there is usually a great deal of conflict borne out of envy, spite, and at times a righteous indignation against the injustice that may have resulted or even the very attitudes that are at play. In the event with the sons of Zebedee, the disciples who heard about it were very displeased with the two brothers who even so much as sought this position of power above them. Look only at our political powers at play today, and in modern times too one can see the messy conflict and frustration that is unraveling day by day before our eyes.
How do we resolve such conflict, whether we speak about power in the realm of the political, religious, or social world? We like Jesus need to look up again. We need to see the one with real power. King David said, “God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God” (Psa. 62:11). Even Jesus said, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (v.28). We all need to recognize, whether parent, president, presbyter, or preacher in the church, we are all but servants before our Master in heaven. Those who look not up to the Father, wish to influence whatever power may be given to them in dominion over others. Those who look up to the Father, wish to influence whatever power may be given to them in service under others.
God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God”