the power of corporations... (part 3)

Continuing "The Power of Corporations is the Power of the People":

When the religious leaders asked Jesus by what authority he cast the money changers out of the temple, he replied with a question of his own. “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” The leaders argued, worried about the possible reaction of the people, thus revealing that their power was “from men,” the power of the people that depends on the support of the people. They finally answered diplomatically, “We don't know.” And Jesus responded, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” If all they cared about was the power of the people, they would not recognize the source of Jesus' authority.

The authority and power that Jesus demonstrated came not “from men” but from God. It wasn't the power of gathered, organized people. It was the power that calmed storms and created bread and raised the dead, by the word of a single man, power greater than any mass of human beings can produce. This is also a power that cannot be abused. A power than cannot be used for anything but the will of God, since it is God's work, not ours, that produces its results. Thus it also does not tempt those who use it (or are used by it), because it cannot be bent to our will. God's power is and always remains, God's alone.

Jesus avoided using the power of the people, to more clearly demonstrate the power that can truly set us free, the power of God. So also should we, his followers, shun the power of the people, the power of the corporation and the state, but also the power of the union and the political activist, the power of the mass movement, the power of the crowd. And instead demonstrate a truly different power. The power that cannot be corrupted or corrupt us. The power that cannot make us dominators. The power before which no other can stand. The power not of the people, but of God.

(Download essay as RTF file here.)