Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Taking a stance on an issue without all of the facts is somewhat excusable if all the facts aren’t available. But when all the information is available, and the choice is made to ignore it because it doesn’t serve a pre-determined agenda, corruption reaches its pinnacle.
Such was the case with the religious leaders in John chapter 7.
John 7:45-52 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
The religious leaders had sent temple guards and officers to arrest Jesus. When they returned without Him, they were asked why they didn’t obey orders. There response is powerful. “No one ever spoke like this man!” The officers, without an agenda, heard the authority of Christ as He taught the truth of Scripture, and determined that they would not arrest Him. They disobeyed an order of the religious authorities because those authorities were wrong.
In an attempt to defend their position, the religious leaders did several things.
- They accused the officers of being wrong. We tend to do this when confronted with truth, especially truth that requires admission of wrong. We accuse others of being wrong so we don’t have to admit we are.
- They arrogantly declared that they alone are able to know the truth and to make the right decision. They set themselves above the people, and claimed special knowledge of the things of God. This kind of demeaning behavior is used frequently to suppress not only new ideas but also people themselves.
- They even more arrogantly declared that anyone who disagrees with them is accursed, or doomed to punishment. The tragedy here is that the people were not declared to be accursed because of sin, but rather because they disagreed with the leaders who had set themselves up as being the only ones who could know the truth. People in power – control freaks – will always condemn those who don’t agree with them to protect their position of control.
- They manipulated the truth to manipulate people. When Nicodemus suggested that they should not judge Jesus without a proper hearing of the facts, they again ignored that section of the law and rebuked Nicodemus with another section. The problem is that their reference to no prophet coming out of Galilee is a lie. Jonah was from Galilee. Nahum was from Galilee. When the truth of the law doesn’t serve their own purpose, people will lie and hope others don’t know any better. People in power tend to think others are uneducated, so they think they can get away with lying.
Again, as we did yesterday, make any and all applications to today’s culture and to your own personal life as necessary.