Sunday, April 8, 2012

“We have no king but Caesar!” John 19:15

Thus cried the Jewish leaders at the hearing by Pilate. It is interesting to note just what they were doing at that time: They were actually doing one of the things for which they were demanding crucifixion of Jesus. They had inaccurately accused him of pointing out a false God, i.e., himself; but they failed to realize that he was right all the time. Now they were actually doing the unthinkable—claiming that their true king was, of all persons, Caesar!! How could the Jewish leaders have made such a ludicrous mistake?! Hatred and jealousy can do strange things to well-meaning people. They were trying to stand up for their traditional religious system and the religion of Moses; but…they were SO VERY MISGUIDED by their near-sighted and selfish pride.

Do you and I do the same kind of thing at times? How many times do we condemn others for hanging pornographic pictures on the walls of their homes when we harbor pornography in our hearts? Don’t get me wrong—I am not saying that we should not condemn pornography; but I am saying that we need to cleanse our own values, motives, and affinities before we condemn the same things in others.

How many times do we condemn dishonesty in others when we go home and fudge on our income tax report? How often do we criticize others for greed when we lay up cars, vacation homes, excess clothing and any number of other things we do not need for our own use?

My plea is this: Let’s look to ourselves before we condemn others. But…when we find error and sin in ourselves, let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith for the forgiveness and genuine cleaning of our motives. Only he can make our criticism of the evil practices we see in our world accurate and efficacious.

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