Sunday, June 19, 2011

Humans And Power

They say power corrupts. It does so whether it is in politics, business, religion and in any other setting where people are given authority over others. It is manifest in many ways but is fundamentally shown by attitude. The few having power looking down on the many without it. They feel superior and aloof. It has gone on for thousands of years.

The religious leaders in Israel around the first century felt superior to the common people who worked the land. A prominent religious sect of Judaism was the Pharisees, who had power and influence within the nation. Jesus once visited the house of a Pharisee for dinner. He upset them by allowing a woman of ill repute to touch him. They said to each other “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner.” NIV.

You can feel the contempt they had for her. Their power had led them to look down on those struggling with life and they would not even try to help them. Jesus showed that she needed help, not scorn nor rejection. Jesus saw the good and the desire for repentance by what she was doing for him. The Pharisees would never try to help her, no matter what she did to change.

So if we have authority over others, how do we view them? Do we show respect for such ones or do we find ourselves feeling superior? In other words, are we like Jesus or are we a Pharisee? What would those under us say?

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