Sunday, March 30, 2008

Would I Crucify Him?

The day after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Luke provides a dramatic picture of the contrast between two groups of people. There we see the chief priests, scribes and leading men wanting to kill Jesus, but the general populace wanting to catch every word that dropped from His lips.

Now I have to ask myself: Who am I more like? The “chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people” (Luke 19:47) or “all the people [who] were hanging on to every word He said” (Luke 19:48)?

I certainly don’t want to kill Jesus, but I also don’t think that I’m often as mesmerized with the words of Jesus as Luke describes the people to be that day. So if I’m not quite like either, who am I more like? Well, because I do in fact love Jesus, I must be more like the people. But sometimes I’m conscious of a subdued irritation with Jesus—a barely concealed consternation over unanswered prayers or unanswered questions. A feeling that Jesus has let me down or that He has not done what I expected or wanted. And I can see in those turbulent emotions and disappointments that I’m capable of being more offended with Jesus than in love with Him, except by the grace of God. The truth is, apart from God’s grace, I can't be sure that I wouldn't have been among those who, shortly after Luke 19 (in Luke 23), shouted, “Crucify Him!”

How many of those people were disappointed that Jesus didn’t do what they thought He should do? Oust the Romans! Set up His Kingdom and revive the glory days of Jerusalem! It’s only with God’s help that amidst unanswered prayers and unmet expectations, we can see Jesus for who He is, love Him as we do and be hungry for His Word. And as we choose to trust Him with every longing in our heart, knowing that His will is always good, acceptable and perfect, we will grow increasingly eager for every word of wisdom—and for every moment in time—that He lovingly shares with us.

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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