Blessed… Plotting to Kill

When Jesus finished speaking all these words, he said to his disciples,  “You know that the Passover is two days from now. And the Human One will be handed over to be crucified.” Then the chief priests and elders of the people gathered in the courtyard of Caiaphas the high priest. They were plotting to arrest Jesus by cunning tricks and to kill him.  But they agreed that it shouldn’t happen during the feast so there wouldn’t be an uproar among the people (Matthew 26:1-5, Common English Bible).

It really is difficult for me to understand fearing someone whose ideas are so opposite my own, that I would wish them dead. I just don’t understand it. I can never remember wishing another person dead. I may not like them. I may fear for the future because of decisions they make, but I don’t want that person dead.

If I don’t understand that, how could I carry things even further and plot together with others to carry out the death of another human being, another child of God?

That is just the place Caiaphas and the members of the high council found themselves. They were really concerned about what the future of the faith would look like if this Jesus character were to continue teaching and leading the people unchecked. Something had to change and the only thing they could see for change was the elimination of Jesus from their lives, permanently. So, they were hatching a plan, a plot if you will. Jesus, as far as they were concerned, had to go.

Perhaps it is a good thing I did not live in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Difficult decisions were believed to be imperative if Germany and really all of Europe were to be saved from total destruction.

In an earlier post in this blog series, I shared that Deitrich Bonhoeffer was one of my great heroes in the faith. Bonhoeffer was one of those who believed a difficult decision that would save Europe and Germany had to be made to stop, to eliminate Adolph Hitler. Bonhoeffer joined with members of the Resistance in an effort to plan and carry out the assassination of Hitler.

The Nazis uncovered the plot before the Resistance could carry out the plot. Bonhoeffer and others were arrested and imprisoned. Bonhoeffer continued his ministry while in prison, being a pastor to both prisoners and his Nazi guards alike. Even while in prison Bonhoeffer was making a difference.

Not long before the end of the war, Hitler ordered Deitrich Bonhoeffer executed. I feel certain that if we could question Bonhoeffer today and ask him if it was worth it, his answer would be yes.

Bonhoeffer and the Resistance efforts to kill Hitler might seem different than the High Council’s efforts to kill Jesus. But, in one key area, they are very much the same. Both the High Council and the Resistance feared what their world would be like if the one on whom they were plotting death, would be like. They didn’t like what they saw and started working to change the world.

I think it is easy to do as I would do and say, “There is no circumstance I can imagine where I would take the life of another person.” At earlier points in his life, I wouldn’t be surprised of Bonhoeffer had the same thoughts. Still, the circumstances did change and Bonhoeffer and others did what they might have considered, only a few years before, to be impossible. Now moving forward, to not act seemed to them to be equally impossible.

I have often wondered where God might come down on this. We can usually find ways to justify our position with Scripture. I don’t know where God would be on this issue. What am I talking about? I don’t even know where I would find myself if I were in Bonhoeffer’s position. What I do know is this, Jesus has taught us, in Matthew’s Gospel, that love of God and love of neighbor are the greatest commandments. We also read just yesterday, Jesus’ words, “For as you have done it to one of the least of these, you’ve done it to me.”

I am not saying we should never be passive and not take decisive action if necessary. What I am saying is, in light of what Jesus has taught us in this Gospel, we must make absolutely certain there is no other way. One day we will be held accountable for these and other decisions we make, just as God holds Caiaphas and the members of the Council accountable for decisions they made, leading to the death of the Christ.

Where would you find yourself on this issue?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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