Devotional of the week: True Authority (4 in Luke 4 series)

Photo: Brenda Clarke, flickr

Photo: Brenda Clarke, flickr

“I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them…” Luke 4:5

Satan harbors an inflated view of his authority. First he tries to tempt Jesus to change a rock into bread. Then he promises Jesus power over all the kingdoms of the world, which he believes are his to control. All he asks is that Jesus worship him.

It’s rather ironic. Jesus actually holds the keys to those kingdoms, because of his union with the Father. But his humility keeps him from exercising that authority. Instead of lording himself over people, seeking to manipulate and control them, he puts himself at their mercy. Even to the point of giving his life on the cross.

As we saw last week, Jesus knew who he was – God’s beloved son. Being secure in his identity, he lives as a servant. In his weakness, he is strong. Strong enough to resist Satan and his temptations.

We aren’t Jesus, but what authority has God entrusted to us? We might be a parent, seeking to mold and shape our children into followers of Christ. If we exercise control harshly, they may rebel or react. So too if we are in a position of leadership in a work, church, or volunteer environment. Or we might not think of ourselves as leaders. Yet when we put the needs of others ahead of our own, we reflect Jesus’ love, grace, and gentleness.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you showed supreme humility when you died on the cross in my place. Thank you for your loving sacrifice. Amen.

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