The God who does nothing

“You would have no power over me at all unless it were not given you from above” (John 19:11)

Imagine having power to create a universe with billions of galaxies, and more billions of stars within, planets around those stars, and – at least in essence – the power to duplicate even your own self.

This is the awesome power of God (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6); His strength is unlimited (Job 36:22).

By contrast, what can humans do? Some really strong ones can lift miniature cars a few inches off the ground for a couple seconds. Most of the rest of us – the average, but fortunate ones – manage to feed and clothe ourselves fairly well on a regular basis.

Yet, our Lord’s most impressive feats of strength may be the things he chose not to do. To name a few:

  • Jesus had the power to turn the Roman soldiers to salt, and spare himself all the humiliation and near-fatal scourging he incurred at their hands (Matthew 27:27-31).
  • Jesus had strength to vaporize the cross with a word, but chose to stumble beneath it in agony (Mark 15:20-21).
  • Jesus had an innumerable detachment of angels at his disposal, but he deemed our salvation greater joy than rescue (Matthew 26:53).

Would we have done the same in his position?


Just how mighty is The Almighty?

As McGuiggan said, he:

“…tears mountain ranges to shreds, who rolls out light years of space like a man laying carpet, a God who flings galaxies into the empty space and lays oceans in their places with an eyedropper” (The God of the Towel, p. 8).

But more impressively, our creator Jesus also possesses a strength of restraint we cannot attain. One tradition says that Peter and his wife were both executed for their faith. Peter, watching his wife be led away, said, “Remember the Lord.” Whether the tradition is true or no, it is this message that has conferred upon many saints the power to endure all manner of evil.

Remember how, like a lamb, he offered no defense in his humiliation, and no retaliation against his slaughterers. It was almost too easy. Jesus’ cold resolve to die rattled even the procurator’s nerves. He was reviled but did not recompense. He was slapped and spit upon, and his hands hung like stones at his side. His answer for his executioners was to blush when stripped, to offer his back to their whips, and beg mercy on them as life trickled from every pore of his broken body (Luke 23:34).

The son of Man – our man, Jesus, is indeed the Mighty God – not just for what he can do, but because, when it came to our salvation, and he could have done anything, he chose to do nothing.

One Reply to “The God who does nothing”

  1. This is such an awesome article! Lots of things ran through my mind as I read it. I’ve been trying to work through forgiving some people who hurt me at various times in my life. Some things are easier to forgive than others, and at some of my lowest points, I used to wish I had the power to hurt them as much as they had hurt me.
    But when I look at Jesus and think of his wounds and death at the hands of his enemies, I think that those wounds, in a sense, were endured for me so I could be healed (I think it says that somewhere in the Bible).
    God knew that someday I would be here and need the salvation that came by Jesus doing nothing on the cross but dying for me. Through him doing nothing, he did give me everything when I accepted his gift of salvation seven months ago! I love him so much! Please pray for me to be strong in the faith, and to let go of anything, including any past spiritual hurts, that keeps me from being a 100% of who he wants me to be.

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