October 18

Text: Matthew 27:18

For he knew that because of envy they had delivered Him up.  (NASB)

Basically decent people are capable of holding, exhibiting, and acting on horrible motives.  That is especially true when people who regard themselves to be devoutly religious are motivated by the passion of stirred emotions instead of the values of understood principles.  Human emotions can produce unthinkable problems and behavior!

Rarely do emotional people realize how transparent they become!  When our emotions determine our behavior, honest observers see the “what” and the “why” of occurrences.  When “just” Christians declare the values of Christian principles yet act unjustly in defiance of those values, both the values and the Christian appear to be shabby pretenses.

Pilate was certainly not a Jew nor one who followed Jesus.  If he was anything, he likely was an idolater.  Yet, even he saw what was motivating the Jewish leadership.  Jesus was more popular and more influential with the common people.  Jesus possessed what they valued and wanted.  To them, the simplest way to acquire what Jesus had began by getting rid of Jesus.  The Jewish leadership was jealous of Jesus.  Their animosity had nothing to do with Jewish principle!

The Jewish leadership had no desire to be one of the “common people,” but they wanted to rule those people.  They were supposed to be the leaders!  No one had a right to “their position” without their approval!  If a person was not “one of them” the person had no right to lead!  Jesus was an unwelcome intruder, and they resented him!  It was that resentment that motivated them to seek his unjust death.

Jesus cared about the people.  These Jewish leaders cared about the position.  Jesus represented God’s concern.  These Jewish leaders did not.

Dare to encourage Christian leaders who represent God by caring for people.  They are dedicated to service, not to position.

Suggestion for reflection: Where do people rank in God’s priorities?  (Read Deuteronomy 15:1-11 and Matthew 22:34-40.)

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