Thursday, March 12, 2015
John 19:1-16 conclusion
This week, we have studied in John 19, and seen the moral struggle and eventual defeat of Pilate, in dealing with Jesus and the Jewish leaders.
Where did he go wrong?
First of all, Pilate placed value in the wrong things. He was so wound up in his love of power and position, of comfort and luxury. He put them as higher priority than doing what was right. Even when he knew that what he was doing was very, very wrong. He chose the temporary things over the eternal things.
Secondly, Pilate feared the wrong things. Pilate was afraid of having his past behavior scrutinized by Caesar in Rome. He was already in hot water with the rumors of his past wrongdoings, and this would be just another log on the fire. He also was intimidated by the Jewish leaders -- they threatened to accuse him of disloyalty to Caesar. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Proverbs 9:10) Pilate had a conscience, and he had a fear of doing wrong -- but his fear of man was much stronger than his fear of God.
Pilate also failed to heed God's warning. God sent a dream to Pilate's wife, and she sent a message to him, pleading with him to leave Jesus alone; she wanted him to have nothing to do with Him. Even with a supernatural warning, Pilate didn't listen.
Then, Pilate failed to take a firm stand for what he knew was right. He was double-minded. Wishy-washy, Charlie Brown's friend Lucy would say. He was torn....on the one hand, he wanted to do the right thing. But he was unwilling to take any personal risk to do that. We must learn from Pilate that a little compromise leads to more and more compromise; small compromises lead to large ones! If we are half-hearted in our stand for what is right, we will probably crumble when pressed hard on our decision. We must make a firm decision to do the right thing and then trust God with the outcome. If we will remember the three Hebrew children and take a stand the way they did, we will find that God will take care of the results.
We may be facing moral struggles today in our own lives. Are we placing value in the right things? The eternal things? Are we afraid of men, or are we showing a reverence for God?
We need to ask God to give us the courage to do the right thing, and then listen to His voice. Allow Him to use our consciences to guide us with His truth. We can listen to His warnings He may give from His word, or even in a dream. If we decide here and now that there will be no compromise, then we can keep our commitment to do the right thing. And we can trust God to take care of the rest.