This fresh set of Daily Devotions is being provided for our LCA/NZ family, friends and visitors to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we face unsettling times. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the LCA/NZ’s Church@Home resources to encourage us and build trust in our Heavenly Father during this season of uncertainty and physical isolation.
by Pastor Chris Mann
This is the second in a series of seven devotions on the theme of Seven Great Stories to Tell One Day.
Click here for your printable verse to carry with you today.
‘Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above … From then on Pilate tried to set Jesus free”’ (John 19:11a,12a).
In the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic there are lots of stories of pain, sorrow and heartbreak. But in the midst of the stories of pain are great stories – stories of healing, hope, and love. Now that we are on the other side of Easter, we can look back and see some of the stories that we may have skipped over in the crucifixion of Jesus. And because he lives in us, his story becomes our story.
One of the stories we read in the crucifixion is how Jesus responds to those in authority.
There appear to be sharp contrasts in how Jesus responds to different leaders – especially between the religious leaders and Pilate – which at different times in history and different parts of society is used to justify some good choices, and some not-so-good choices.
But one thing is clear: Jesus understands that authority is given by God (John 19:11) and that it is to be used for the sake of people, and Jesus submits to decisions that harm him, but serve others.
It reminds me to be mindful of wisely submitting to the decisions of others in authority over me, even when I don’t like their choices. It also reminds me to use the authority and influence I have in a range of spheres to always put the needs of others first. And finally, it reminds me that sometimes people use authority poorly, and as followers of Jesus, we have a duty to pray and seek God’s guidance in how to respond.
At the end of this time, may the story be told of you and me responding well to authority, in a godly way, for the good of people.
Heavenly Father, help leaders who have faith in Jesus follow his example. Give them wisdom, and help them to make choices that benefit others. And help us to respond well. Amen.