November 20

Text: Matthew 28:15

And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.  (NASB)

The guards that went to the chief priests took the money.  (Wonder what the other guards did—“get in” on the offer of money, or tell others what they saw?)  The guards did as they were instructed to do—the money, not the experience, determined what was told.  The result: the Jews who did not regard resurrection to be a plausible explanation for Jesus’ missing body adopted the guards’ second explanation.  In the time when this was written, there were two widely believed stories about Jesus’ missing body held by Jewish people—resurrection and theft.

To this day, greed is a major motivation in religion and politics.  This is so commonly true that many people are skeptical of both.  The common and first question often asked about people who are prominent in either is this: “What do they want?”  “Christian preachers” who primarily are the speakers for television ministries are notorious for being wealthy.  It is not unusual for preachers to cheat others “in the name of the Lord.”  Money scandals are considered synonymous with national politics.  Such scandals surprise few when financial scandals occur in state politics. 

Nor is greed confined to religion and politics.  Almost anywhere “big money” appears greed is present—business, college athletics, enterprises.  In all generations, the same fallacies occur:  (1) Wealth is the answer to all woes.  (2) Everyone knows how to handle and manage money.  (3) True wealth lasts forever.  (4) Rich people do not have problems.  (5) Money can make any problem disappear.

The person who believes any of those fallacies is devastated when he or she learns by the difficult way just how false the fallacies are.  It is too bad that we cannot follow the individual guards to see how long the “large sum of money” lasted and what it produced in their lives.

Suggestion for reflection: The typical non-American considers Americans rich.  Do you feel rich?  What would it take to make you feel rich?  (Read Colossians 3:1—11.)

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