October 23

Text: Matthew 27:25

And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and on our children!"  (NASB)

It is interesting to listen to what people say when they are not thinking about what they are saying.  The progression the multitude made in this matter is interesting.  You cannot help but wonder who these people were.  They were not friendly toward Jesus—which is about all we know about them.  Were they picked by the chief priests and elders, or were they curiosity onlookers, or were they “people on the street” who did not like Jesus?

Verse 20 stated that the chief priests and elders “persuaded them” to ask for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus.  To me, that suggests three things.  (1) The multitude did not have a strong opinion about the release of Barabbas or Jesus.  Perhaps they considered both men to be of equal threat to Jewish society.  (2) It was the chief priests and elders who had an agenda, not the multitude.  (3) Negative emotions moved them from non-committed adversaries to a bloodthirsty mob.

In essence these emotion-led people said, “Pilate, if you will allow Jesus to be crucified, we absolve you of all responsibility for his death.  Let all responsibility for Jesus’ death be placed on us and our children!  We welcome all responsibility for his death!”

Wonder if these people had any idea about what they were saying?  Wonder how they felt about this “privilege” later?  Wonder if any of them were among the 3000 in Acts 2:36-41?

When a healthy balance between emotions and reasoning is destroyed, people behave in thoughtless ways.  They make rash statements.  They declare terrible promises.  They behave like unreasoning animals rather than ethical humans.  They become a threat to society rather than helpful to others.

Blessed is the person whose emotions influence others to glorify God!

Suggestion for reflection: Recall a time when your emotions caused unreasonable behavior.  What did you learn?  (Read Romans 14:7-12.)

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