John 10:18 (NKJV) I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
In my younger days it was common to hear a young man, say about his physical prowess, “I’m not bragging, I’m just stating facts.”
Well, in one sense, that is what Jesus is doing. He’s not bragging, he’s simply stating the facts. He has power, extraordinary power.
Like a grown man submitting to a 110-pound nurse knowing she is going to stick him with a needle, Jesus willingly restrained himself and allowed the Jewish leaders to build a false case against him in order to have him executed. He showed great restraint and allowed himself to be beaten, mocked, spat upon, and eventually executed in the most horrible way—crucifixion. He allowed all this while having the power to stop it at any moment.
Why would Jesus do this?
One reason was that he was the Good Shepherd who gives his life for the sheep (you and me!). In other words, he did it for love.
Sometimes the greatest demonstration of power is not demonstrating your power—because of love.
Sure you could force your will, but for the sake of love don’t.
Sure you have the power to get your own way, but for the sake of love, do what is best for the relationship.
Sure you can make your children (employees, the weaker, the poorer) do what you want them to do, but for the sake of love, do what is best for them.
Sure you can say what you think (after all its true!), but for the sake of love, bite your tongue.
Sure you can be grumpy, sarcastic, and short with those around you (knowing the people around you, you probably earned the right), but for the sake of love, put your best foot forward.
Sure you have the power to walk away, quit, give-up, and even horrors of horrors—end it all. But dear friend, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There is a greater motivation for taking action or for restraining yourself from taking action and that motivation is love.
- The ONE THING for today: Sometimes the best question to ask yourself is not “What would Jesus do?” but rather, “What would Jesus not do…for the sake of love?”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.