Jesus, Kardashian and Power
Admittedly, that has got to be one of the weirdest titles to be found – at least on my website. One does not usually associate Kim Kardashian with the Son of God, or find these two people mentioned together in the same sentence. Indeed, what does Hollywood and the jet set have to do with anything decent and worthwhile, such as Christianity? Generally speaking, not much at all.
But there she was, the 31-year-old celeb, famous for being, well, I guess, just famous, giving Jesus a bit of free publicity. While she may thrive on such publicity, I don’t think Jesus really needs it. And with folks like her not exactly known for their giant intellectual prowess, I guess one should expect strange things to come forth from such lips.
The context is this: it seems the superceleb was just in Sydney, and was asked a few hot questions. One news item tells the story this way: “Asked who she would like to be if she could swap lives with anyone in the world for 24 hours, the reality starlet chose the Son of God. Why? ‘Because I think it would be pretty fascinating to see the power that he had,’ she told news com au.”
So there you go – she is keen to know about the power Jesus had. Perhaps it is a sensible interest. But actually, had she simply read a bit of the New Testament, she would have enough information to satisfy her curiosity. Indeed, simply watching the 2003 film Bruce Almighty starring Jim Carrey would have done the trick. There we find Bruce Nolan (Carrey) given divine powers for a two-week period.
He quickly discovered that this was not such a smart request. It is a tough job being God, especially when he learns he can’t mess with people’s free will. After a fortnight he is more than happy to relinquish things back to the real God, and get on with his ordinary life.
But – and more importantly – back to the biblical account. The New Testament makes it clear that power was not something Jesus was really on about while on earth. Indeed, denying his power, or refusing to use it to his own advantage, is what the real Jesus was often all about.
A famous scene demonstrating this is found in the Gospel of John. In 19:9-11 we read about this amazing encounter between Jesus and Pilate: “‘Where do you come from?’ he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. ‘Do you refuse to speak to me?’ Pilate said. ‘Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin’.”
He deliberately refused to use his power here, submitting himself instead to the ignominy and cruelty of the cross, so that he might secure salvation for those who would trust in him. He could easily have wiped out the entire Roman Empire with a snap of his finger, but he chose not to, for our sakes.
Consider also Philippians 2:6-8. It is one of the more important and sublime discussions of Jesus, power, and how he dealt with it while on earth. It says this:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
The text goes on to say that God afterwards exalted him massively. Indeed, vv 9-11 say this:
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
And of course we read in the book of Revelation how the one who first created the entire universe will come back with sword in hand to bring judgment to the earth, and to all those who have rejected him. He is certainly the most powerful being in the entire universe, but he restrained his great power while here among us.
Thus if Kim really wants to know about his power, she should read through the New Testament. And if she did, she should tremble at what she finds there. She would not want to know his power, or have his power. It would fell her in an instant.
Only one man could use that power and use it wisely, lovingly, and effectively. That was the man Jesus Christ. We praise him for his great power, but we also must praise him for how he chose to not use that power. He alone could create all there is, yet choose to constrain and hide this great power.
As Graham Kendrick said in his great hymn, The Servant King: “Hands that flung stars into space, to cruel nails surrendered.” That is real power.
6 Replies to “Jesus, Kardashian and Power”
Melito, Bishop of Sardis, gave an amazing Passover sermon in AD ~170 that expounds even more on that line in the hymn:
And so he was lifted up upon a tree and an inscription was attached indicating who was being killed. Who was it? It is a grievous thing to tell, but a most fearful thing to refrain from telling. But listen, as you tremble before him on whose account the earth trembled!
He who hung the earth in place is hanged.
He who fixed the heavens in place is fixed in place.
He who made all things fast is made fast on a tree.
The Sovereign is insulted.
God is murdered.
The King of Israel is destroyed by an Israelite hand.
This is the One who made the heavens and the earth,
and formed mankind in the beginning,
The One proclaimed by the Law and the Prophets,
The One enfleshed in a virgin,
The One hanged on a tree,
The One buried in the earth,
The One raised from the dead and who went up into the heights of heaven,
The One sitting at the right hand of the Father,
The One having all authority to judge and save,
Through Whom the Father made the things which exist from the beginning of time.
This One is ‘the Alpha and the Omega’,
This One is ‘the beginning and the end’
The beginning indescribable and the end incomprehensible.
This One is the Christ.
This One is the King.
This One is Jesus.
This One is the Leader.
This One is the Lord.
This One is the One who rose from the dead.
This One is the One sitting on the right hand of the Father.
He bears the Father and is borne by the Father.
‘To him be the glory and the power forever. Amen.’
Jonathan Sarfati, US
I believe the comment that Kim made about wanting to trade places with the Son of God, was simply a naive one. She simply wants the “power of God” in the way many Liberals and New Agers consider themselves to be “gods”, today, with all the serpent power bestowed on them by the “devil knows who”. Indeed, both are powers to be reckoned with… There is nothing more to read into that comment about Kardashian. She needs our prayers.
The incarnation was no power-trip. The road to the power of Christ’s resurrection is via the fellowship of His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death (Philippians 3:10). Only One could bear the burden of being both the Son of God and the Lamb of God.
Bill, great value in the article. Not to give Kim any airplay. But rather to provide a post which has interest to the Christian youth of today. Who immersed in our secular culture will more likely read it because of her name and get valuable perspective on the relevance of their faith.
Thanks Jonathan S., thanks Melito, thanks Bill, thanks Graham K. ‘The Servant King’ is a song that says it all.
Until your blog mentioned Kim K. I had never heard of the young lady (showing my age I guess). She’s obviously hasn’t a clue as to who Jesus claimed to be, quite sad really.
I can’t help but think how Muslims would have reacted if Kim had requested to be like the prophet Muhammad for a day.
I think we could have a good guess?
Dallas James, Melbourne