“You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above"
John 18:28-19:22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. 29 Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” 31 So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” 32 to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.
33 Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”
And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. 39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.
19 Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3 and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. 4 Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5 Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”
8 Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; 9 and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”
13 Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
16 So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. 17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20 Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
When Jesus stood before Pilate He said: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Later in the text it says: Pilate… entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” Jesus first acknowledged that the earth was not His kingdom. When God created man, He created him in the image and likeness of God and gave him authority, dominion over the earth. When man sinned against God by listening to the devil, he lost that dominion. Satan did not gain all power and all authority on the earth. The Old Testament accounts of God doing miracles, parting the Red Sea, providing water from a rock, withholding or bringing rain, moving the shadow back and on and on, bear witness to the authority of God over the earth and creation. Satan merely filled the void of authority left and lost by the sin of man. So Jesus rightly says that Pilate’s authority on earth was subject to the greater authority of God in heaven. Daniel 2:20-22 says: Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.
In Matthew 4:8-11, when Jesus was being tempted by the devil, it says: The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Here’s the thing, the devil tried to offer Jesus something that was not his to give. He didn’t and doesn’t have authority over the kingdoms of the world. He is filling a void created by the sin of man. Jesus, speaking of the devil, says: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) In John 10:10, He says: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
What does this all mean for us? What does it mean that Jesus kingdom was not of this world? That God still has authority and we should worship Him alone? That the devil is still a liar and still tries to offer what is not his to give? Jesus taught us to pray saying: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In Matthew 16:13-19 it says: When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who doyou say that I am?”Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah,for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, butMy Father who is in heaven.And I also say to you thatyou are Peter, andon this rock I will build My church, andthe gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The key, the keys to fulfilling the prayer of Jesus, that it would be on earth as it is in heaven, that the realities of the kingdom of heaven would be seen and experienced here on earth, is given to us, Jesus’ church, through the revelation, the knowledge, the understanding and the belief that Jesus is the Christ. Again, the devil will still lie and deceive. He will still offer to give what he has no authority to give. In truth he does come only to: steal, and to kill, and to destroy. 1 Peter 5:8 says: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. The King James version listed here captures a truth that the other translations miss. It says he seeks whom he may devour, not who he can devour. The devil has no authority. He simply has illegally attempted to fill a void left by the sin of man. Satan neither has anything to give, nor does he have authority to take away, to steal, kill or destroy. God never relinquished authority. Satan never had it and it was not his to give.
In Matthew 28:18, after the crucifixion and after the resurrection, Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to receive the authority of heaven and earth for Himself. Jesus is one with God the Father. He already had authority. It was given to Him so that He could give it back to man. Through the cross and the resurrection, through the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, we have authority. We can deny the devil permission to steal, kill and destroy. We can bind and loose things on earth, causing them to be as they are in heaven. Because Jesus has all authority and because He gives it to us who believe, He says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, who have all authority in heaven and on earth. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. By faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit may I walk in the authority which You have given me, bringing the realities of heaven to the earth. May I deny the permission of the liar and loose the power and the abundance of heaven on earth. Amen.