THOUGHTS FROM MATTHEW

October 5

Text: Matthew 26:59-61

Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, and said, "This man stated, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.'"  (NASB)

According to Matthew, the objective of the trial was determined before it occurred.  The objective was to put Jesus to death.  (These men believed Jesusí death would end their major stress as the leaders of Israel.  They merely wanted to justify Jesusí death by giving the act an appearance of legality.)

An aside: these menís rejection of Jesus as Godís Christ should not be considered as the act and attitude of the entire nation.  It was the act of a group in a specific situation, not the act of a people.  Many Jews believed Jesus was the Christ (Acts 2:41; 5:14; 6:1, 7; etc.).  Modern prejudices must not be transposed back into the scripture.  When people stereotype an entire nation by holding the nation responsible for the actions of a high profile group, huge problems and consequences result.

How often have we been consumed with a stress to the extent that solving the stress became the solution to all our problems?  The person dedicated to eliminating all struggles buys only painful betrayal.  Being a responsible person who lives by Godís eternal code of right and wrong produces more opportunities than consequences.  There will be consequences, but even the consequences produce opportunities.

Remember that even Jesus had unjust enemies who inflicted pain.  No one can equal his dedication to God-defined good and right.  Even dedication to good and right produces enemies.

Suggestion for reflection: Our emphases should be on being godly, not on escaping our fears.  (Read John 15:13-27.)

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