Friday, April 02, 2010

Where Does Hate Come From?

President Truman Points to the Faulty Headline
When I left you last I was in Randers, Denmark after speaking at a seminar/workshop on ways to facilitate Christian fellowship and outreach and then preaching at the Free Church in Randers on the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem from Bethany.

Jesus was eating with his disciples, along with Lazarus, Mary and Martha when a crowd appeared. Lazarus was fresh from his grave and everyone there knew of his uprising. They knew he was dead and now was alive. It is impossible to hide that kind of thing from your neighbors, especially in a small town like Bethany.

Jesus had been doing a lot of good things as he traveled around the countryside with the 12 young men and the raising of Lazarus was certainly one of the most sensational. How could anyone disagree with Jesus or criticize him for doing good? But they did.

In fact, one of his main men, Judas, was critical when Mary, the sister of Lazarus, showed her appreciation and affection to Jesus by anointing his feet with an expensive oil. Judas burst out with indignation and said that the oil "should have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor." Jesus corrected Judas and affirmed Mary but the even showed the evil heart of Judas.

The next day hundreds of people lined the road into Jerusalem and waved palm branches as they shouted "Hosanna to the King" and honored Jesus as he rode on the back of a donkey into town. But the appreciation and hosannas did not last long for the next few days saw Jesus surrounded by soldiers, arrested and brought before the judges for sentencing. Despite his pure record and wonderful deeds, the crowds now yelled for a murderer by the name of Barabbas to be released instead of Jesus.

People are fickle. People do not love or hate a person because of the good deeds or wonderful ideas but because evil is in our hearts and it comes out in blaming others. Judas was a thief so he was jealous that Jesus was receiving adoration and anointing with expensive oil. Covetousness is a terrible sin that can lead us to murder in either word or deed. The Chief Priests were jealous of Jesus and worked hard to turn people against him. They succeeded and Jesus was crucified.

The heart is wicked and deceitful and no one can change that except the Holy Spirit. Don't operate your life based on the affirmation and approval of others.We are all fickle and want our own way. I often advise people who are anxious about what others say to stop worrying about it because most of them are interested only in themselves.

Not even Jesus, the Great Physician and Savior of the world could please everyone so I doubt that you will be able to. Always stand on the truth and speak it in love.

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