He was a people pleaser

Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” John 19:4

Nothing wrong with being a people pleaser, life is so much simpler when everyone is happy.  I am sure Pilate felt exactly the same way.  Pilate was prefect or governor of the Roman provinces of Judea, Samaria and Idumaea. This meant he was the supreme power and might of Rome in these provinces.  His decision was final. He held this position for 10 years.

Jesus was brought to Pilate for one reason and that was to be crucified.  The high priest did not have the power to execute a criminal and needed Pilate to pass sentence. Therefore Pilate had a man he did not arrest in his possession.  Pilate questioned Jesus over and over again and could not find anything wrong with him. Did he do the right thing? Did he let Jesus go? Pilate was too concerned with pleasing the crowd and the high priest.  He decided to check with them first.  The crowd screamed for his crucifixion.  Pilate still tried to please everyone and brought out Barabbas, a known criminal, and informed the crowd that he would release one.  The crowd shouted for the freedom of Barabbas instead of Jesus.  Pilate had two choices. Please the crowd and the High Priest or do the right thing and free Jesus.

Pilate had Jesus, an innocent man, beaten 40 times with a whip designed to rip his skin off, with bits of sharp bones and metal balls, and then crucified him.  Pilate went down as one of the most famous people pleasing politicians in history.  He was literally moved by the crowd in his actions and did not consider the possibility of doing what was right.

In our lives we too must often make decisions based on whether we should please someone or stick to our convictions and do what we know to be right.  Pleasing others sure can make life pleasant in the short run, but living with the guilt of having done something wrong, just to satisfy others, can become a burden too heavy to carry.

Perhaps it is more important to please the one who always has our best interest at heart, and desires for us to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.  This would be God.  Instead of a people pleaser, we can be a God pleaser.

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First they criticize, then they crucify

But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” Luke 11:15

This is dedicated to all the doers, past, present and future, the greatest one being Jesus Christ.

Who was likely the most criticized man on the planet? I can’t be sure. But Jesus sure got a lot of Criticism. It was His critics that wanted Him crucified. They said he was sinner because he healed people on the Sabbath. They said He was a blasphemer because he forgave people of their sins. Whenever he would cast out demons they said He did it with the help of the chief demon. They were even critical of his companions, the publicans; these were the hated tax collectors. Ah, nothing has changed. Sinners were always seeking Jesus out. They were in need. They accused Him of starting a rebellion, but His kingdom was not of this world. They finally decided they had enough and they demanded He be crucified.

If they criticized Jesus who did an immeasurable amount of Good in His short ministry, then what will they do with us? We cannot be surprised when we are criticized for anything good we do. Any attempts to help others or make lives better will be met with criticism. Such as “We were too late,” or “We rushed it”. Perhaps they’ll say “That was too long” or “that was too short” or “those words were too eloquent, no one understood” or “Those words were too simple, what do you think of us.” No way to please everybody. The sure fire way to not receive criticism is not to do anything. Well that may not be true. Then we’ll be accused of being Lazy.

We just need to go out and do what we have to do for the Lord. If some people don’t like what you did, no problem, tell them “Please show me how to do it better”. Most likely they won’t. Because their role in life is not to do something, just to criticize others who do something. More importantly remember we do not perform for the critics. We do it for God and the kingdom of Heaven.

What shall we do with Jesus?

And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.  And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:28-31

Roman soldiers took the creator of the universe and stripped Him of all his clothes. Then they put a red robe on him. They put a crown of thorns on his head and mocked him. They called him the king of the Jews. Then they took a reed and beat him over the head. They spat upon him and then took Him to be crucified. These soldiers of Rome had no idea who was in their presence, the almighty and holy God, the eternal creator of the universe. At any moment he could have brought their lives to an end or even worst reversed roles with them. But he chose to show mercy and endure.

Makes me wonder how our treatment of Jesus has changed. Surely many treat Him as he rightfully deserves. They worship and adore Him. They faithfully serve Him and sacrifice to please Him. Yet many others do not. Some are still mocking. They find joy in making fun of their creator. They make fun of Him who was sinless but carried all our sins, He who quietly gave his life so that all might live.

Some deny He ever existed, even in the face of massive historical evidence. They would rather pretend that the man who started a massive revolution that would overturn Roman society completely, never walked in Galilee.

Others belittle who he was. To them he was a fine teacher, with brilliant ideas about how we should treat each other, but in doing so they indirectly call him a liar or a lunatic, since He claimed to be the messiah and the son of God. They also belittle his death, turning his sacrifice into nothing more than a sad case of Roman injustice.

For some of us Jesus is just an afterthought. After the work day is done, the chores are complete, errands are run, and facebook time is over, then we remember to pray a few words in hopes of getting something from our Lord.

Perhaps it is time to reconsider how we are treating our Lord. We can only hope he is still saying Father forgive them for they know not what they do. But here’s a scary thought, perhaps our generation doesn’t get a free pass, because we do know, don’t we?

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