Tuesday, February 9, 2021
I love my brothers. But childhood sibling rivalry was real. When I was young, my brother Paul really bugged me. We are only fifteen months apart in age, with me being the oldest. I felt like he always had our dad’s ear at my expense. When he was in trouble, he could always make dad laugh, thereby avoiding the consequences of his actions. Yet I was consistently in trouble because Paul would tell on me, and some of the things he told dad were made up. It was as if he was motivated by some need to be accepted by dad, even if it hurt me.
Please don’t think poorly of my brother. I don’t. To be totally honest, my memories are exaggerated to prove a point. Unfortunately, we all know people who place a high value on acceptance and are willing to hurt others to gain that acceptance. Those same people want the appearance of doing the right thing, but their motivations are sinful.
Such was the case in the response of people to the raising of Lazarus from the dead. We can see the contrast between people in John 11:45-46.
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
To remain accepted in the religious group of their day, some of those who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus felt it was their civic and spiritual duty to report to the leadership what had happened. But their motives were very sinful. The Scripture contrasts their actions with the people who believed, so we know they were not motivated to be witnesses for Christ but rather witnesses against Christ. They chose to place a higher value on the protection of their current status than on representing the truth.
But what about us? Are there times when we are motivated to speak to others for the same reason? Is maintaining our status with people so important that we would misrepresent the truth to them? Would we dare to deny the truth simply to protect our status?
Think on these things.