There is a verse in the bible which has puzzled me for some time. (“Just one??” I hear you gasp …) Yet hitting these speed-bumps one at a time is my preferred way. Gives God a chance to have His way with me. Spot every jot. Talk as we walk. Refocus all the hocus pocus.
Speed-bump for today: ”I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”John 14:30-31
The Ruler of This World. Really?
That was my speed-bump. Because in different versions he is also called The Prince of This World.
Now we are big on royalty over here. And a prince is a big deal in the “family business”. And a ruler is a big deal in any way I see things. I get that Jesus considers “the ruler” small-fry. Yet I have been conditioned to consider rulers and princes as Big Fry – always.
A small detour? (Well, thank you – I don’t mind if I do!) Little Monk showed me a gadget. A Bible Gizmo. Tech for the Word!
Drumroll please …
It’s “The Bible Gadget Show”!
(fade music ….)
* Bible Gateway: http://www.biblegateway.com/
* Bang in whatever passage you want to zap
* Select Version: Mounce Reverse – Interlinear New Testament
* Stand back while your computer explodes!!
* Then approach with a smile.
* Find the “speed-bump word” in English
* Click on the Greek word below the English word
* Look at the top right-hand-side of your screen. A new pane will have appeared.
* Say“Ohhhhh …” very reverently
* Click the option in that new pane “to see ‘every occurrence of that word in the New Testament’ ”
* Arrive in the Land of Teknia
* Have fun exploring
That version (as LM patiently explained to me) is the Greek from whence all words come. Each version taken from these words. And then the words of the word of The Word shaped and formed and patted into a language we can get our modern heads around. And sometimes – like when I hit a speed-bump – it helps me to go back to the source of The Source.
Which Is what I did today. Ruler = ἄρχων … (I just copy and paste – it’s all greek to me!)
“Dictionary: ἄρχων, -οντος, ὁ
Greek transliteration: archōn
Simplified transliteration: archon
(I ignore this bit)
Strong’s number: 758
GK Number: 807
(this is the fun stuff)
Frequency in New Testament: 37
Morphology of Biblical Greek Tag: n-3c(5b)
Gloss: ruler, leader, official
Definition: one invested with power and dignity, chief, ruler, prince, magistrate, Mt. 9:23; 20:25”
And those 37 examples (in this case) are all displayed in context (i.e. within their full verse). And as I read those 37 examples of the same word, a pattern emerged: Ruler is manmade. Ruler is imposed on the Rule-ees. Ruler covers a host of meanings – all with their root and foot firmly cemented to a manmade hierarchy. And that word “Prince”? Prince gets a minor mention. Royalty this is not. Ruler this is. Manmade this is.
”He has no power over me”
All this “enemy” stuff we get hung up over? False teachers, sin, temptation, damnation, judgement, punishment, and all that “bad stuff” we fear seeping into our souls and “taking us away from God”? Living in constant danger of losing our souls – for ever?
I am no Jesus.
Yet I am of I Am. I dwell within God and He in me. So – hair-split all you like – I am the next best thing! And Jesus embraced and allowed “power over”
(which is pretty dismal victory for “the ruler”- being “given a win” is rubbish – unless “winning” is all that is important – being seen to be top dog – being applauded and lauded).
God Jesus allowed. And even if I am no Jesus that bit has to apply to me: “if I allow.”
And (as he usually does about now) that familiar tap on the shoulder. That wry smile of affection. That connection of reflection …
Say hello to the flip-side of this free-will stuff! The good side! The side where we get to choose. Where we get to be made clean. Where we “get it” and the ruler doesn’t.
I choose God. I am choosing to be a teflon coated, slides right off, never needs cleaning, oven ready, flame-proof handled, durable and ever-lasting son of I Am. I choose not be ruled by this “ruler.”
I choose God. I choose Love.