Sermonette for Saturday

Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas. Matthew 26:3

When the important people get together, something worthwhile usually gets discussed and something worthwhile usually gets decided. In the case of the meeting described in today’s text, all of the heavyweights of Jewish society, religion, and academia were assembled. They had urgent business, and they had a unified purpose. Such a meeting as is described should have produced a unified approach to a major issue facing them all. And what concern was so pressing that it brought about such a meeting? What passion so stirred up such an assemblage of leadership to take urgent action? Nothing but rank envy!

Envy is one of the basest of human motives, and marks the world’s worst decisions and ugliest crimes. This was certainly the case in today’s text, when the religious and civic leadership in Jerusalem assembled to formulate a plan to get rid of Jesus of Nazareth. Their territory had been invaded by Someone Who had wielded authority that they could never achieve, and their feathers had been ruffled by losses in public debates to One Whose wisdom had publicly embarrassed them. So their envy could accept nothing short of getting rid of the Galilean. They were willing to forge whatever alliances were necessary to achieve their goal. There is a warning here for Christians to avoid unholy alliances with the world to resolve what we perceive are threats to ourselves.

There is an old saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Normally, the scribes, who were primarily Sadducees, had little to do with the chief priests and the Sanhedrin, who were mostly Pharisees. But their religious differences were laid aside to challenge what they perceived was a common threat. They could get back to fighting against each other later, but for now, they needed to act together to oppose Jesus. Can Christians make such crucial mistakes of affiliation? Sadly, it happens. I have heard of Christians who have entered into affiliation with groups of Roman Catholics to oppose the evil of abortion rights. Christians can also become entangled in organizations of various types such as peace movements, political parties, and social activism. No good can come to our souls from such involvement.

The world has the wrong attitude about the Lord Jesus. To avoid taking sides against our Saviour, let us avoid entangling ourselves with the world’s movements. -Jim MacIntosh

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