Though the religious leaders of His time were determined to disprove it, Jesus came by His power and influence honestly, because they were founded in His inherent identity. He was and continues to be God. Instead of wielding His identity as a weapon, He “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7, 8). He didn’t turn stones into bread even after fasting for forty days (Matt. 4:3, 4). He didn’t release Himself from the torture of the cross, even when He was mocked for not saving Himself (Mark 15:31). As God, He retained the ownership of “the cattle on a thousand hills,” yet He lived on the kindnesses of others, with “nowhere to lay His head” (Psalm 50:10; Matt. 8:20). Jesus is a marvelous example of overwhelming power that is controlled for the sake of blessing and loving others.

Instead of using His power as a way to force others to do His will, He used it as an opportunity to serve and love those who people avoided: prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, and all manner of sinners (Matt. 8:1–3; 9:10, 11). He even took the time to heal someone from the mob that arrested Him after a sword-happy disciple was overzealous in protecting His Lord (Luke 22:51). He chose to stay on that cross, lay down His life, and take it back up again so that He could be the reconciliation between the world and His Father (John 10:17, 18). With more power than the human mind can fathom, Jesus exclusively used it in love.

The more one has, the harder it may be to keep a level head. This is why Jesus endured tests of a magnitude that no other human will be called to endure. Though not as powerful as Jesus, and maybe not as rich as some people who are often seen on social media, all of God’s children are called to use what they have to bless others. This is not done through gritted teeth and self-promises. It’s accomplished through the power Jesus secured for all who believe: through surrendering to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to work in the heart a transformation that is both mysterious and all-encompassing.