Take Ownership And Trust The Truth
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. — John 18:28-32
The collision, hypocrisy, and lack of ownership by the Jewish leadership at this moment are appalling. This gives believers everywhere a three-fold warning:
Warning One: Live free from the world's systems. Making one deal or agreement with a political or power authority will lead to us making continued concessions and compromises. This is what Annas and Caiaphas had done. After years of colluding with the government, they feared losing their position and power because of Jesus. So, because they made that initial compromise, they reasoned toward a conclusion that benefited them. The only solution was to hand Jesus over to Rome, who had the power to do things they were prohibited from doing. So, live as free as you can from the world's systems. They will only lead to future compromises.
Warning Two: Align your desires, thoughts, and actions with God's truth, not your version of the truth. And we learn the spiritual leaders, in one sense, are attempting to obey the letter of religious law regarding their ceremonial cleanliness to ensure they can celebrate the Passover. At the same time, they have found every way possible to justify the unfair trial, judgment, plotting, and killing of Jesus. This lack of spiritual integrity is laughable. But this happens when we make small compromises and then justify our desires, thoughts, and actions, aligning with our justified version of the truth rather than God's. And this needs constant attention because our desires and truth constantly change, but God's truth never does.
Warning Three: Take responsibility for your actions. As believers, we should own up to our choices and decisions, not blame someone else. Accepting responsibility is where men are discovered and made. If you take responsibility when it's yours to take, right or wrong, you will learn something. But these kinds of men never blame or explain. They learn and move on, which contrasts greatly with these religious leaders who did everything they could to avoid owning up to their choices and actions.
So, as you embark on this day, let these warnings guide you. Steer clear of the traps of being a spiritual double-dealer and responsibility dodger. Stand firm on your beliefs, anchor yourself in God's truth, and shoulder the responsibility for your choices and actions.
Can you think of a situation in your life where aligning too closely with worldly influences led to compromises you later regretted? How can you strive to operate more independently in such situations?
Have there been moments when you've found yourself justifying behavior that didn't align with your faith or values? How can you ensure that your actions consistently reflect God's truth rather than your own version of it?
DO THIS: Take one of the three warnings and work on it.
PRAY THIS: God, I come before you seeking strength and wisdom to live a life that reflects your truth, taking full responsibility for my choices and actions. Guide me on this journey of faith, helping me to stand firm in a world full of compromises and distractions. Amen.
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