Confronting A Devious Heart
So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. — John 11:53
This verse could easily be read past, but I am not going to do that today because I believe it's one that should give us pause. A literal reading could be:
"So from the day that Caiaphas spoke to the Sanhedrin and collectively made plans to kill Jesus."
The decision has been made. All that needs to be determined now is how this will unfold.
Here's the predicament the Sanhedrin faces:
During the time of Roman rule, religious Jews had a religious law that governed their people. However, the Roman government had its own legal system and exercised authority over the territories it governed. This means that under Roman rule, Jews did not have the power to enforce religious laws on their own, especially when it came to capital punishment. There were certain Jewish religious laws that prescribed certain offenses punishable by death, such as murder, adultery, and idolatry, but Rome did not grant Jews the authority to carry out these punishments during their rule. This was a matter for the Roman government alone.
So Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin had to devise a plan to convince the Roman government to do their bidding, bypassing all Jewish legal proceedings. And we all know how it turns out.
This short text written by John serves as a reminder of how devious the human heart can be. It reminds us that when we desire something, we can go to great lengths to obtain it. It reminds us that when we feel like we are losing something, we can do anything to keep it. We seek like-minded individuals to validate our sense of injury and injustice, and then we make plans that conspire against them.
Therefore, today, cleanse your heart. Rid it of frustration, animosity, bitterness, and the anger you feel towards your wife, children, friends, boss, or coworkers. Confess these feelings to God and surrender them to Him before they become irreparable actions that you will regret for the rest of your life. Do not let this sin fester in your heart to the point where your mind starts devising plans that oppose God. You do not want to conspire against God.
- Reflecting on the deviousness of the human heart described in the devotional, share a personal experience or observation where you witnessed the lengths someone went to achieve a desired outcome. How did it affect them and those around them? What lessons can we learn from such situations?
- Considering the call to cleanse our hearts and surrender our negative emotions and desires to God, share a struggle or area of frustration in your life where you find it challenging to let go and trust God's plan. How can we support and encourage one another in releasing these burdens to God and seeking His guidance and peace?
DO THIS: Confess the sin of your heart.
PRAY THIS: God, I pray that you cleanse my heart from all bitterness, anger, and devious intentions, helping me surrender them to You. Guide me to trust your plan, seek reconciliation, and live with a heart focused on your love and righteousness. Amen.
PLAY THIS: The Cross Is My Confession.
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