Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Power List

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth – Philippians 2:9–10 (NASB95)

Forbes magazine compiled their new list for 2013 of the world's most powerful people. This year's list includes 17 heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of some $48 trillion. The 27 CEOs and chairs on the list control over $3 trillion in annual revenues. And the group of 28 billionaires on the list are worth over $564 billion. Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Barack Obama, and Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping took the top three spots in the power rankings. At #5, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, is the most powerful woman in the world. – via

Yes, there are some powerful people in the world. That power includes the ability to make or break you financially. They can control you forcibly by creating laws (to do it “legally”) or by influencing politics, police, courts, and more (illegally). They can control the media and control your thinking, or what information you get access to in order to choose or make decisions. Powerful people can control your daily lives in countless ways. We don’t like to believe this, but the power to control others is a prime motivation for obtaining wealth, political position, or other authoritative position.

It even happens in the church. There’s a fairly well-known fellow named Diotrephes in the Bible (even though we don’t know much about him). He evidently loved to be first in things so that he even countered what apostles said! That kind of thing still happens in today’s church.

Paul’s statement to the Philippians is one that doesn’t get enough press. Jesus is the one to whom every knee will bow. His name is above every name (sorry Diotrephes). That list of the world’s most powerful people above is a list of folks who aren’t the most powerful after all.

People find that hard to believe. The world doesn’t believe Jesus is worth bowing down to, but I fear that even Christians don’t easily accept this either. We still operate out of fear of folks on that “power” list. Even they will eventually bow to Jesus.