Friday, April 22, 2011

Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

Today's Reading
"They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together." ~ Mark 14:53

Far too often we take matters into our own hands. We plot, gather evidence, invite others to join our cause, and eventually make the attack. Instead of slowing down and turning to God, we use every human effort to get our way.

The Jewish leaders made the mistake of trusting themselves and not God. Instead of following the rule of law, the Jewish rulers sought to capture, sentence, and destroy Jesus as they saw fit. After all, Jesus was threatening the entire religious system of the day. If we don't "do something," all will be lost... our power, authority, and life as we know it.

The Jewish leaders, under the cover of darkness, took matters into their own hands and passed judgment upon Jesus. They set decorum aside and did what was right in their own eyes. Judges were to conduct and conclude capital trials during daylight. Further, trials were not to occur on the eve of a Sabbath or festival day. Pharisaic rules required a day to pass before a verdict of condemnation could be issued.

Likewise, the Sanhedrin (court of justice) should not have met in the high priest's palace. The spirit of Jewish law opposed condemning a criminal on his own admission, but the Sanhedrin treated Jesus' words here not as admission of a crime but as a crime itself--blasphemy--to which they themselves were witnesses, obviating the need for other witnesses. Finally, whatever else may have been illegal, the physical mistreatment of a prisoner certainly was; this would have shamed Jesus as well, for such treatment was inappropriate to the status he had claimed.

We too can take matters into our own hands when our little "kingdom of self" is threatened. Do we look to God as our solution, seeking Godly wisdom, looking to God's Word for guidance; or do we control every situation trying to manipulate others to gain what we want the outcome to be? Do we lord over our spouses, associates, and family members rather than trusting God to make the changes in their lives? If we forget whose servants we are, we can easily fall into idolatry, vying for the power and honor that rightfully belongs to God alone (Mt 21:38).

When is the last time you took matters into your own hands and tried to play god instead of trusting him?
What was the outcome?

About The Author
Gary Middleton is a teacher at Cal High and came to Canyon Creek because of the testimony of high school students attending here. He has have been richly blessed through the teaching and followship at CCPC.

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