“Jesus answered, `You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above’”. John 19:11
These words are Jesus’ reply to Pilate’s question, “Don’t you realise I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus understood very clearly that God is the ultimate power and nothing could happen to him outside of God’s purposes.
Pilate thought he was a powerful ruler but Jesus puts him in his place and tells him that it is only because of God that he is in that position. This verse teaches us a lot about our attitude towards authority not just government but all authorities. Jesus was prepared to submit to a wicked system of government because he knew that God had allowed it to be so. In the same way God expects us to be submissive to the people He has placed in authority over us. This is why Paul writes in Romans 13:1 “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”. It is something we need to bear in mind as we go about our daily lives.
But the most encouraging thing about this verse is that we can rest assured knowing that God is in charge and in control of His world. Nothing takes God by surprise, no one can take His power away or legislate against Him. God won’t abdicate control and His purposes and plans will be realised.