With the exception of one Person, unlimited clout brings unlimited trouble.
No individual has ever successfully taken over the world. In fact, all who tried—Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler, etc.—became victims of their own ill-fated visions. Infected with paranoia, delusions of grandeur, bloodlust, and a certain perpetual emptiness, each died, short of the nightmarish utopia he had hoped to establish. The pinnacle of power eluded them, and even the limited amount they found helped ruin them.
It seems that accumulating power and authority and influence is like stuffing one’s pockets with radioactive material. You might glow for a short time, but then you’ll start dying.
However, listen to the chorus of praise surrounding the victorious entrance of Jesus into heaven:
“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Rev. 5:11-12).
This power was received the right way, by the right Person, for the right thing, and it is unlimited.
Prior to this time, though, Jesus had already been offered power on a global scale:
“And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours’” (Luke 4:5-7).
Too many tyrants have fallen immediately to the ground at even a hint of receiving such a prize, kissing the devil’s feet, confessing his greatness, swearing allegiance to him. They were willing to kill millions without the devil having breathed a word of promise to them. And yet, here was Jesus, practically being handed a contract that offered all the power in the world.
He refused it.
Doubtless, He was destined to become King of Kings, and Lord of lords, but that future could not come through a Satanic miracle. God’s way involved a cross, and a tomb. His Man walked that narrow path:
- Ascendancy to the throne had to happen within the fellowship of the Creator, the legal owner of the earth. Jesus would not receive power from a usurper and rebel. He had no wish to become middle management for one who had corrupted his office.
- True kingship had to establish a new creation, where all corruption had been eliminated. This could only happen through the cross, and in resurrection. A world ruled in the old creation, even under an exemplary leader, would have left sin and death still reigning. A cross-less world would be a landfill.
- The power received ought to be harnessed for completion of God’s grand purpose, and design. Christ had already demonstrated His total alignment unto this end, by giving up His life for it. The power, therefore, would not be for the gratification of an individual, and his megalomania. Nor was it to be restricted to some control of current events. It would be a vast, long term rule over all history, flowing into Revelation chapters 21-22, the fulfillment of God’s plan.
- True rule must faithfully express God. This power, therefore, has to come without violence, political craft, exploitation, conspiracy, or intrigue. It conquers men’s hearts with love, and winsomely calls them into a heavenly fellowship.
No wonder none of those other guys worked out.