“And they began to accuse Him, saying, ‘We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.’ Then Pilate asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ He answered him and said, ‘It is as you say.’” (Luke 23:2-3 NKJV)
Have you ever gone to a store to buy an item on sale at a fantastic price, only to find out that they had just sold the last one – but, they can sell you the deluxe item at a slightly higher price? That’s an illegal retailing practice known as “Bait and Switch.” Anyone who followed Jesus’s trials from the illegal one held by the Sanhedrin to the trial before Pilate would understand the concept. Before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought up on blasphemy charges and they had trouble making those stick. They finally got the excuse to find Him guilty and return a sentence of death. Them, when they appeared before Pilate, they tried to convince Pilate that Jesus was trying to overthrow the Romans and was preaching tax rebellion. If that sound completely opposite to what you think you heard/read the other day, it is. Jesus beat their tax trap and I would guess that those accusing Jesus of teaching against paying taxes were themselves doing just that. Pilate obviously didn’t take the charges too seriously. He asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews and Jesus responded with the equivalent of “you said it, not me.” Pilate told them it was good enough for him and was about to release Him until the Jews persisted in their evil way.
The work place equivalent of the tactic the Jews employed is when someone say something like, “Oh, by the way…” You know the boss is going to add extra work to your already overloaded plate. You know your co-worker is going to ask you to run an errand for him or her since you’re already going. Sometimes, the biggest tests of faith happen when we deal with the “by the ways” people throw at us. Jesus kept quiet and didn’t protest His innocence, although He could have. Pilate tried to coax a response from Jesus, but never got one. Maybe, if we saw the “by the ways” of life as an opportunity to serve others in the name of Christ, we’ll learn from those events and experience joy by serving others.
Lord, sometimes it’s a real pain when people add that one more thing for us to do or even change the whole nature of our plans. Give me the grace to handle my emotions and deal with people who impose on my time. Help me to be a witness to Your love and grace.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.