We all like to feel powerful. No-one likes to be weak, right? But what if power doesn’t look like we think it does? What if the way that we see power is all wrong?
To understand what power really is, we need to be able to see it through the eyes of Jesus. In the Gospel according to John, chapter 13, we are given a glimpse of what power looks like to Jesus. Verse 3 starts like this:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God
We already know that Jesus is all-powerful, so there are no surprises here. But the surprise comes in the next verse:
so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet…(John 13:4, NIV).
Jesus stands up. He’s going to show us his power!
But Jesus does something very unexpected. He takes off his outer clothing. We think of power as adding things to ourselves. But for Jesus, power is about giving things up.
Then Jesus wraps a towel around his waist. In other words, he takes off his clothes and dresses himself as a servant. Doesn’t that beautifully represent the whole incarnation?
And now Jesus shows us what power looks like to him. He does the work of a servant. He pours the water, and he bends down, and he washes his disciples’ feet. That’s what power looks like to Jesus.
The power that drives the universe is the selfless love that comes from the Father.
But this was just an anticipation of when a few days later when he would demonstrate the greatest power in the universe.
He made himself a servant. Once again, he was undressed, though not by his own hands. Then he bent down low, even to the Cross to which he was nailed. And there he washed your life of all its failures, dirt, and degradation. He made you acceptable to God and fit to live forever.
That’s what power looks like to Jesus.
The power that drives the universe is the selfless love that comes from the Father. That’s why there’s no more powerful person in the world than the one who puts self aside and kneels in the dust to help another. Or even the weakest saint who kneels to intercede before God for another of God’s children.
So, next time you see yourself as weak, remember that might not be how God sees it, if you are trusting in Jesus. The prophet Joel says,
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’(Joel 3:10, NKJV).
That’s for you. Because of Jesus.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.