Posts Tagged ‘power’

Beware The Yeast of the Herodians, Or Don’t Let Power Go To Your Head

November 17, 2016

This is the third post in a series on a comment of Jesus found in Mark.


Did you ever know someone who got a taste of a little bit of power and let it go to the head? Did it ever happen to you?

Power relationships.

It happens in dysfunctional marriages where one person needs to have power over the other. I see it often in schools where a principal or superintendent has such a need of control and such a great amount of self-absorption that they must exert power over their minions. Happens in business, churches, pretty much wherever people are gathered.

The yeast of the Herodians infiltrated the dough of their (our?) lives.

Herod was “king of the Jews” appointed by Rome to control the region. He knew how to exercise power in the most brutal way. Rome itself was the epitome of exercising power relationships. Remember when Herod ordered all infant boys aged two years and under killed in Bethlehem lest the new “king of the Jews” who was reported born there survive and kick him off the throne?

Even Jesus’ followers at the very last instant just before his arrest and trial were still thinking of the coming kingdom of God in terms of a power relationship where the Jews would rise up and kick some Roman butt. Jesus had other ideas. And the power idea didn’t work very well for the Jews, either, some 40 years later when Rome came in, destroyed the Temple and killed thousands.

But Jesus turned that power relationship on its head. Check out the Sermon on the Mount. The teaching that if a soldier asks you to carry his backpack for a mile (legal) you carry it two. Love your enemies. Washing the feet of your followers.

Jesus was not against power. He was against using power over others. He used power for others.

Where are you in your power relationships? Do you use it to lord it over people? Or do you use it for the benefit of other people? Your choice. Choose wisely.