“Many people came and told false things about him, but all said different things—none of them agreed.” (Mark 14:56)
The Pharisees had been waiting, plotting, and planning to arrest Jesus for months. As Passover approached and the threat of people going into a frenzy over Jesus and convincing Him to go full conquering Messiah on the Romans, and the Jews, they “knew” that they had to act. They bribed Judas to identify Jesus, they arrested Him, and then they brought Him to the Sanhedrin. I’m sure that many of the Pharisees were upset that there had to be any kind of a trial. They wanted to execute Jesus and they didn’t want to wait. But a trial was necessity. They had to finish this illegal act using the form of legality. That’s when the Pharisees realized what they did wrong: they didn’t bribe the right witnesses and give them the right stories. I’m sure a few were smacking themselves on their foreheads as the stories told differed enough that no one saw agreement between the tales. This created a real problem, since the Bible says that no one could be put to death on the testimony of one witness. We all know the outcome, but the Jewish leaders went through some tense moments before they finally got their rationale to execute Jesus.
Our society puts Jesus on trial every day. Too often, the way we act as (supposed) followers of Christ gives them ample points to use in testimony against Jesus. While it’s probable that Mahatma Gandhi didn’t actually use these exact words, “I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ,” the quote does seem to reflect his concerns about Christianity. We, as Christians, often are negligent in our attempts to follow Christ. We get stuck on our own desires, instead of seeking God’s will. We’ve made the gospel a source of wealth, when the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head. We take a condescending attitude towards those in poverty instead of finding ways to minister like Jesus did. Were a trial to be held today, there would be plenty of witnesses who could testify against Jesus because of the actions of those who claim to follow Him. If we want to make a difference in this world, our lives need to be in line with God’s plan and we must reflect the glory of Jesus in all we do.
Lord, I want to do things my way instead of Yours. I want easy goodness instead of hard ministry. Change my heart so that I will delight in following You and ministering like You do.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.