Power, Surrender, and True Authority

The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” — John 19:7-11

The details of this interchange are interesting.

It begins with a retort by the Jews who state, "he has made himself the Son of God." Not that "he was" but that "he made," which is an interesting detail given the inscription Pilate will nail to the Cross.

But this statement was enough for Pilate to interrogate Jesus again, which is becoming both unsettling and irritating for Pilate. Notice how Pilate responds:

  1. Pilate took the "Son of God" statement seriously. We have to assume he feared Jesus might be some divine man. Remember, Romans did tell stories about god-men who descended to earth. But Pilate has already flogged, ridiculed, and passed over the potential pardon of this man.
  2. Pilate attempts to engage Jesus in a philosophical conversation (after Jesus has been flogged nonetheless). And the question, “Where are you from?” has no real bearing on the issue of treason.
  3. Pilate is unsettled, in contrast to Jesus, who remains resolute, which is quite the contrast now.
  4. Pilate resorts to a declaration of his power, and Jesus retorts with the truth about power.

The weak man in the room is not Jesus. It's Pilate. While Pilate had the mantle of Roman power, the Jews and Samaritans continued to make his life utterly miserable. Eventually, because of situations like this, he was removed from office and exiled to Vienna, where he committed suicide, similar to Judas.

Pilate's desperate grasp for control reminds me of our feeble attempts to control our lives, rejecting God's authority. But remember, we cannot outmaneuver God. Jesus, the embodiment of power, strength, and wisdom, tells us where all power, strength, and wisdom come from — God. So why do you try so hard to be powerful, strong, and wise? Instead, accept your limitations and let God be power, strength, and wisdom through you.


In what areas of your life are you trying to assert control or power, similar to Pilate, rather than surrendering to God's authority and plan for you?

Reflecting on Jesus' statement about authority being "given from above," how does this challenge your perspective on power, strength, and wisdom in your personal journey? How can you better align with God's will to let Him work through you?

DO THIS: Let Jesus be power, strength, and wisdom for you today.

PRAY THIS: Lord, guide me to humbly seek Your wisdom and strength in every moment. Teach me to surrender my will, trusting fully in Your unending grace and love. Amen.

PLAY THIS: Go So Loved.

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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

4 thoughts on “Power, Surrender, and True Authority

  1. gonzalo correa says:

    Great message brother Vince.
    Seems like we all want power, control, and strength in all aspects but very few of us, me, have the wisdom and self-control to use these for the Lord, guilty as charged here. I do pray God would give me, us the correct mindset when He provides such power and control that we may glorify His Name. Lord helps us to use all you provide to us for Your perfect will, amen.

  2. trent says:

    I try to control, force, create my own success in family and finances and relationships. I lose sight of the fact that when I am told I am the head of my family, the leader of my house, the trainer of my children…. it is to help me control myself and my actions so God may reveal to them, all be it through me if I am so blessed, how they should act/be. NOt necessarily to tell me to control them or to judge my suceess or sense of accomplishment by their obedience to me. If that makes any sense to anybody…. it does me so I thought I would write it down both for my remmebrance and in case others may be in my position. Good day

  3. Marko says:

    Lord fill me with Your wisdom, knowledge, strength, and power today. I have nothing to bring but what You give me. Show me Your will for me today and every day.

    Thank you Brother VInce.

  4. Bill McKenna says:

    Hey Brother Vince,

    Great series of messages. Your message yesterday about Jesus being the only sinless man ever to punished unjustly really resonated with me. Sometimes we may feel we’ve been unjustly targeted, ridiculed or suffered, but only one person was without sin ever. Our Lord and Savior King Jesus.

    Thanks for ministering to the hearts of men.


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