By Joanna de Vocht
I think it could be easy to read this passage as a Christian and make the mistake of thinking that it doesn’t really apply to US because we haven’t rejected Christ we have invited him to be king of our lives. Right?
But if we look wider than the more obvious message of this passage, the rejection of Christ, and look at the underlying motive for the rejection, this passage speaks to a topic quite different and quite applicable to all Christians – power.
Jesus didn’t fit within the Pharisees’ ideals of power, he threatened rather than confirmed or raised their authority. There wasn’t a place for their type of authority in his kingdom. He could warn them with messengers like John the Baptist but they would not submit because he wasn’t the Messiah they were looking for. He elevated the wrong people.
If we look at our own lives, who are the people that threaten our sense power and how do we treat them? We are probably less likely to commit overt violence like the Pharisees did, but we all feel tempted to fight for our ‘right’ to power over our territory at work or at home.
Recently, when complaining to a friend about someone who I felt was encroaching on my territory of leadership, she told me that I needed to give up my spiritual ‘right’ to lead that project - because God (not group politics) raises and lowers anyway. She was dead right and as soon as I gave up my right to power the whole situation turned around.
Who will you submit to for the glory of God? Maybe it is someone worse than you, someone stupider and less well spoken than you (that was certainly not true in my case) - but truly following Christ means giving up our own power and glorifying His.