John 18:19-38; 2 Chronicles 27-28; Psalm 84
You may have seen some kind of gangster movie where the head of the mob is sitting down to an elegant dinner when one of his underlings comes in looking worried. The mob boss gets up from dinner and the two discuss the underling’s concern. The mob boss looks at the underling and nods his head as he sends the underling out to kill the source of the problem. Hands still clean, the mob boss quietly goes back to his guests and resumes his elegant dinner – with appropriate apologies of course.
Callousness like that is appalling wherever you see it and today it just screams to be noticed. The Jewish leaders had just convicted Jesus at their kangaroo court that had no similarity with God’s plan for justice. They were getting ready to murder the Son of God because the message from God upset their plans for power. “Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.” Since they couldn’t put Him to death, they needed the Roman governor to do it. When Pilate asked what Jesus had done all they said was, “If he were not a criminal we would not have handed him over to you.” “Take our word for it, He’s a criminal, so put Him to death – but don’t make us get our hands dirty because we have to go celebrate our relationship with God.”
As infuriated as I am with reactions like that when I see others do it, how often do I myself avoid ministering to people because they aren’t the right type of people? I pass by the side of the road. I turn my head and ignore them. Perhaps they don’t look or smell right. Trying to find a way to help them might mean that I would get my hands dirty in ministry and you know, I am really trying to make sure that I get to my Bible Study on time. So I leave others to be responsible for ministry I could and should do. Ministering in the name of Jesus will usually require getting our hands dirty. It may mean working with people I wouldn’t normally like to be around. So Lord, today, please give me dirty hands in ministry for you and keep my heart pure in Your love.