Paul wrote to Timothy that Jesus Christ is “the blessed and only Potentate”. A potentate is one who possesses great power as a sovereign, monarch, or ruler. A sovereign is one possessing supreme political power and authority. A monarch is a person who reigns over a kingdom. One that holds preeminent position or power.
From these definitions we can glean why Paul called Jesus the only Potentate. He is the only Potentate because of:
His preeminence. He is before and above all things. He is above the splendid coronation of King Charles III. He is above and before the Pope and Mohammed. No one who understands the Lord’s preeminence would consider himself to be preeminent or allow himself to be held in high esteem by others. We bow to his name; we don’t let others bow to us.
Jesus was born the King of Jews. When he was crucified the inscription read, “This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews”. Phil 2:10-11 says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
All the kingdoms of the world will be his, Rev 11:15. He will be king over all the earth, Zech 14:9. Now, and when he returns, he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, 1 Tim 1:17.
His power. There is no power higher than he. After his resurrection, he said “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”, Matt 28:18. In Eph 1:19-22 we read about, “the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ… Far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church”.
There is no one and there is nothing that can match his power. He is “far above” all power. He is by far the greatest. By comparison we are all as nothing.
His potency. Potentate; Potent; Omnipotent. These all speak of his force, his unique ability to bring about a particular result. He can do anything he wants to.
The world is currently impressed with the power of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship. However, to the Lord it would be like a bottle rocket that fizzled out and popped. Less than nothing.
The Lord’s power is in his words. “The worlds were framed by the word of God”, Heb 11:3. He is “Upholding all things by the word of his power”, Heb 1:3. He spoke everything into existence and keeps it functioning by his words. One day he will simply command and the heaven and earth shall suddenly pass away, 2 Pet 3:10. And yet his words shall not pass away, Matt 24:35.
This Bible from which I am preaching is called the “Authorized Version”. That’s because of the authority of these words. “Where the word of a king is, there is power”, Ecc 8:4. You and I are to obey his words.
The centurion understood this. He knew that Jesus only had to say the word and his servant would be healed. That’s because he rules by the authority in his words. “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”, Eph 3:20. It’s crazy to think of a Christian who let these words sit on the coffee table and gather dust.
There is power in his gospel, Rom 1:16, the power to save. There is power in his blood, 1 Jn 1:9, the power to cleanse, Heb 9:14, and the power to purge our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. And there is power in his resurrection, Phil 3:10, the power to live the eternal life we now possess.
Conclusion: There is no other being in the universe, not one, who has and will beat death. Not your doctor, your religion, or your own goodness. The only one who has the power to beat death is the one who beat it, the only Potentate, Jesus Christ. You must trust him to save you if you are going to live for ever.
Is he your king? Is he your ruler? Is he your power? Is he your Savior? He should be, if he isn’t!