03 August 2011

The Danger of Men-Pleasing

Pontius Pilate is an interesting character study.  Here’s what the Bible says about him. 

He received witness from Jesus Christ Himself (1 Timothy 6:13).  He was warned by his wife not to have anything to do with that just man (Matthew 27:19).  He knew the chief priests had delivered Him for envy (Mark 15:10; Matthew 27:18).  Three times he told the Jews he found no fault in Him at all (Luke 23:4, 14; John 18:38; 19:4, 6).  Called Jesus a just person (Matthew 27:24).  Was willing to release Him (Luke 23:20).  Was determined to let Him go (Acts 3:13).  Refused to change the writing, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:19).  Marveled that He had died (Mark 15:44).  Didn’t seem surprised at the prospect of Christ’s resurrection or convinced a watch could do much to prevent it (Matthew 27:65). 

And yet – in spite of all this – he authorized the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

Why?!  Two reasons:

Mark 15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

John 19:12-13 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

Pilate gave the order for Jesus to be put to death because (1) He wanted to be Caesar’s friend, and (2) he was willing to content the people.  Amazing. 

So it doesn’t matter how much you know about the Bible.  It doesn’t matter how much you know about how rotten the world is.  It doesn’t matter how much you know about the Lord.  It doesn’t matter how much you say you love Jesus.  If your desire is to please the crowd; if your desire is to find acceptance in the eyes of this world; if your desire to be somebody’s friend, you will sell out the Lord.  There’s no doubt about it.

Paul said that if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).  Jesus said that no man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

Since Jesus Christ loved me enough to lay down His life for my sins…
Since God’s ways and God’s thoughts are so much higher than my own…
Since I’ll stand before Him and no one else on the day of judgment…
And for so many other reasons…

Let’s forget the crowd and follow Jesus. 

The world behind me; the cross before me.  No turning back; no turning back.