We have no king but Caesar!


So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
(John 19:15 NASB)



As the day of Jesus' crucifixion wears on we continue to see the "true colors" of the religious leaders. For the sake of their own power and authority they are willing to sell out not only Jesus, but God their father himself. Pilate has declared that Jesus is their King and they are willing to outright reject him, but not only him, but God as well. Instead of affirming that God is their leader and King, they affirm the secular leader of the day shouting out "We have no king but Caesar." At that moment they have denounced not only Jesus, but their loyalty to God. And why? All for the sake of power.



A few days previous these religious leaders had a conversation in which they had said it was best for one man to die for the sake of all. They didn't have a clue that Jesus would do that, providing a path of salvation for all of humanity, instead, they thought it was in their best interest that no one rock the boat politically and/or spiritually. Jesus was rocking the boat and messing up the little power cells which they had established. It would be much better for society if he were gone so, why not plot to have the man killed. Judas is not the only one who sells out his soul for this evil scheme.

Issues of power seem to constantly raise up in our world. Most of the problems in our world are created when people want to have power. The terrible famine in the Soviet Union where literally millions died was man-made. Stalin wanted power over all of agriculture and so in one year he collectivized all private farms. He demonized people who had a cow or two as evil rich people not willing to share. He had the government take over every single farm -- taking all of the animals -- and not getting the crops planted. Everything that survived was sent to Moscow for the leaders to be able to eat and survive, while the very farmers who had tried to provide starved to death. Today we are faced with terrible famine in portions of Africa, famines which are man-made. People are fleeing from wars in which selfish individuals simply want power. In their greed for power they will do anything, including displace women and children.

On a simpler level we must ask ourselves what have we done, at times, to try and gain power? Maybe it's only within relationships. There are times when we might discover that we are playing power games so that we come out on the top of the heap. A carefully placed comment here or there adjusts the division of power. It all seems so innocent, but is it? The results of power plays come from hearts which are not set on God. When he's not in the center of our lives we might be shocked with what we may be willing to do. In hindsight I would imagine that the religious leaders were shocked that they said that they had no King but Caesar. What in the world???!!! How did they get to that point? It didn't happen overnight. It happened gradually as they allowed the world to creep in and have a devastating affect on them and their lives. We must be ever so cautious to never allow anyone or anything to take the place of God in our lives. This only happens when we spend time with him in that quiet place of intimacy on a regular basis. His heart mingles with our heart and we are transformed, no longer wanting the things of this world. The draw of power begins to diminish. May God help us to always remember that He is our King -- and no one else!



Lord, thank you for this reminder today. Please, protect us and keep us from the draw of power -- and may we keep our eyes on you. Amen.


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