15/04/2020 by Mountainside United Methodist Church 0 Comments
Lies, Payoffs, and Scandals
Government should be trusted. After all, appointed officials are sent to represent the people in matters of the state. If they could all be honest, things would run well. But let a few begin to collude together, and then get caught, and trust goes out the window! The payoffs happened, the lies to cover up the ugly truth begin to flow, and more corruption emerges!
If you think I’m alleging this about our present-day governmental leadership you’re mistaken. The government I’m referring to is the one in the nation of Israel over 2,000 years ago. The parties were the Romans, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees.
The people didn’t like the Roman, the Pharisees didn’t like the Romans and disagreed with the Sadducees, and the Sadducees played the political game with the Romans and disagreed with the Pharisees! They might have been the first government to put the "fun" in "dysfunctional!" There were side agreements between the parties, scheming to stay in power, and hiding the truth to keep the Roman "eye" off the territory so Rome wouldn’t come down on the Jewish leaders. They wanted to keep the people of Israel under their power and any dissention was seen as a threat to their posh positions.
Enter Jesus. He was growing in popularity. People began to believe He was the Messiah who was prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures. Their mistake was a belief Jesus was there to set up an earthly kingdom and free the people from the oppressive rule of the Romans, much like God’s delivery of the nation from captivity in Egypt. This rumor was spread far and wide, and the ruling class felt threatened.
So, the Jewish leaders saw Jesus as an enemy, and the old saying in that part of the world is "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." The presence of Jesus forced those parties who were at odds with one another to begin to collude and devise a plan to get rid of this outcast Jesus.
They succeeded, but in doing so created a movement so strong, even a member of the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel voiced to the ruling council, "In this present case I advise you; Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
Jesus gave up His life for us but rose from the grave. He gave marching orders to His disciples to go make disciples! And to this day, the orders have not changed!! No matter how the government colluded, lied, and paid off guards, God’s plans have never failed.
Praise God this week for letting us be a part of His great plan to bring all of mankind back to Himself. We have our orders! Christ has risen, and it’s time to tell the world!!!