14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. 15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. Matthew 12:14-16
Was the truth so powerful and their grip on the people so tight that the Pharisees had to plot to kill this man Jesus? What would have been their justification, that He was a blasphemer?
We continue to have the luxury of knowing a lot more about Christ the Messiah than the Pharisees knew. We have the advantage of knowing what came after these encounters and have been able to analyze, characterize, and pontificate on its significance.
The Pharisees had that moment in time plus all of the Old Testament to guide them. As we’ll see tomorrow, there was enough in the Old Testament to lead them to Christ. The great prophets of old figured it out as did many kings and other leaders.
The very book that guided them to the truth blinded them because of their own self-righteousness. They were not humble, merciful, or gracious. They were a proud group of leaders and lorded it over the people often. They forgot what it mean to have mercy, that is, if they ever knew.
Not all of the religious leaders were corrupted (Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were two truth-seeking leaders), but all of them knew the law and the truth.
Even while Jesus withdrew from the Pharisees, he ministered to people. They couldn’t get enough of Him. The leaders could plot all they wanted while Jesus continued to help people.
If you’re in ministry long enough, you will be criticized for what you do or don’t do. Someone along the way will have a problem with how or why you do something. Most of the time the criticism is unfair.
The perfect Son of God was constantly criticized. He was right and perfect all the time but the leaders wanted to kill him. Fortunately the criticism we receive isn’t as severe (though it may seem like it at times).
As long as you’re doing what God wants you to do, keep at it and let Him sort it out in the end. We’ll be held accountable for what we’ve said and done, and so will they.
God is keeping close records.