Bible Question:

What is the meaning of the ruler of the world has nothing in Me?

Bible Answer:

In John 14:30 Jesus says that the ruler of this world is coming and has nothing in Him. The question we will explore is what did Jesus mean by “he has nothing in Me”?

Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here. John 14:29-31 (NASB)


Satan Had No Legal Claim On Christ - John 14:30

The Greek Translation Of “Nothing”

The key word in the phrase “he has nothing in Me” is “nothing.”  The English word “nothing” is the correct translation of the Greek which is ou oudeis. The word ou means “not” and oudeis means “no one, none or nothing.”  When the Greek word ou is combined with oudeis, “nothing” becomes emphatic. The Greek phrase is a Hebrew idiom which has the legal sense of “no claim.”

The Meaning Of “Nothing”

Therefore, Jesus was simply saying that Satan had no legal claim on Him. Next we want to ask, “In what sense does Satan have no legal claim on Christ?” The answer is that Satan has no authority, claim or control over Christ in anyway, but he does have control over the world and non-believers.

In order to help us understand what Satan controls, we will examine two important points.

The first point is that during the temptation of Christ by the devil, he reveals that he has authority over the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5-6). Notice that the devil states all of the kingdoms of the world were ” handed over to me.”

 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” Luke 4:5-6 (NASB)

This passage helps us understand that the devil not only owns the kingdoms of the world, but he controls them (Luke 4:5-6).

The second point is that in John 8:43-44 we discover that non-Christians are under the control of the devil and have the same desires as the devil.

Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. John 8:43-44 (NASB)

The Greek word translated as “of” in the phrase “of your father the devil” is ek in the Greek. It means “out.” This means the Pharisees were like the devil. For more insight into this passage, visit “Signs that Your Father is the Devil.”

1 John 3:10 also reveals that we belong to either Christ or the devil.

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10 (NASB)

The verse tells us every man and woman either belongs to God or belongs to the devil. Those who practice sin belong to the devil. The verses before and after verse 10 make this clear. Therefore, non-Christians belong to Satan. He has control of them because they are not Christians. Scripture states that the devil is the god of this age, the ruler of this world, and the prince of the power of the air.

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19 (NASB)

In contrast 1 John 5:18 tells us that Christians cannot be touched or controlled by Satan.

We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18 (NASB)


Therefore, since Christ was God and sinless, Satan could not control Christ. We could say that Satan had no legal claim on Him. Jesus said, ” . . . he has nothing in Me.” In fact, when Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, he was not successful (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13). Christ was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Therefore, Christ could destroy Satan . . .

. . . The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 (NASB)

Christ defeated the devil and some day Satan will be crushed (Romans 16:20).

Suggested Links:

Temptation of Jesus
Signs that Your Father is the Devil
Child Of God Or The Devil - 1 John 3:4-10
Godly Conscience – Barometer Of Assurance - 1 John 3:19
Five Joys Of A Christian - 1 John 5:18-19