the seduction of power

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” ... And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:20-21,24-28 ESV]

The desire for power and authority can be a dark force in our lives.
For many years my ambition for such position created such a dissatisfaction in my life.
And in the end, when I had such authority I found that I was really not suited for it.

I remember coming to grips with that and thinking about how much energy I wasted.
So sad that I wanted a position that I was really not good at.
Such is the seduction of power, position and authority in our lives.

We long to have it and the money or celebrity that comes with it.
In the end we find that we are not happy when we get it.
In seeking such power our pride is exposed and on display for all to see.

Jesus speaks to this desire and tells us of the difference between earthly and heavenly power.
When we look at his life we see a gentle authority that has its roots in compassion.
We see in Jesus a humility beyond comprehension and a power rooted in heaven.

The night before his death Jesus tries to drive home the idea of servant leadership.
At the Last Supper he stoops down and washes filthy feet.
In his life and actions we get a clear picture of what it is like to lead.

And on the cross we understand the cost of such leadership.

I again repent of my desire for earthly power. Give me the heart of a servant.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. It seems the church as a whole has given into the lure of power, with disastrous reults

    1. Seems that way Fred. Gotta wonder what it would be like if that segment of the church, ones wanting power, really understood the power of serving?


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