The Third Temptation of Jesus. The temptation of power. “I will give you all the kingdoms of this world in their splendour,” Satan said to Jesus. Many people have left Church because of POWER, one of the ironies of the Church is that Christian leaders have fallen to power. The temptation of political power, military power, moral and spiritual power. Even though the Church continues to speak in the name of Jesus, it does not follow the example of the Lord, Jesus though divine, he did not cling to power he emptied himself of the power and become like us. Power has been used in the name of the Gospel. The crusades, slavery, colonialism, the inquisitions, all to do with people to have power over another, Bishops Courts where built, splendid cathedrals built, beautiful seminaries built and ultimately the moral manipulation took place. Cultures and traditions of other nations because power where disregarded all in the name of Jesus. It was all to do with power. Subjecting others in the name of Christ. Christians have fallen to the third temptation, of power. Every time we see schisms in the Church or misunderstanding in the Parish it all be traced to POWER, who is in Charge. We built this building, POWER, nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ. Power throughout Church history has been the cause of rupture, when exercised by those who claim to follow Christ, followers of Christ are meant to be powerless, not manipulative. Power is irresistible. Powers offers us an easy root, then the hard task of love. It is easier to be powerful and manipulative then to love. It is easier to control people by instilling fear, Power, says “I will leave the Church,” humility says love and pray-leaving the Church is easy, but to be humble and love, these are difficult tasks. People of God are called to be humble and to love and to forgive and not manipulative. Manipulation is POWER. “I will not give my offering or I will reduce my tithes?” I will not come to Church”. POWER. I will not ……. POWER. Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” We ask, “can we sit at your right hand and you left hand in your kingdom?” (Matthew 20:21) Ever since the snake said, “The day you eat if this tree your eyes will open ad you will be like gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5) we have been tempted to replace love with power. Jesus lived that temptation in the most agonizing way from the desert to the cross. The long painful history of the Church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led. Those who resists this temptation really became the saints. One thing is clear the temptation of POWER is threat that continues in the Church, in the Parish, it takes away from us the opportunity to love one another. We should all cultivate healthy relationships based on love, not to opt for power and control which are often toxic. Many Christian empire -builders have been people unable to give and receive love.
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ