John – God Speaks!
What happens to a crowd when prodded to escalate in riotous ways, demanding from those in charge that it must be their way or the highway? We see it in strikes of workers against companies, riots against the established rules, and in countries with citizens protesting ideas that will no longer be tolerated.
There is a mob mentality that forms from a few revolutionists shouting irrational statements that seem to sway people from “the cause” to right wrongs to pure hate, from the goal to change for the better to merely the right to fight. What might have begun as a peaceful way to express injustice soon turns ugly. Truth is no longer sought after and a reasonable settlement is gone with the wind. The crowd wants what the crowd wants. The mob wants and will get their own way at all costs.
After Jesus’ “trial” by the religious elite, he was passed on to the Roman government for punishment. They knew the Romans would kill him, if convicted, the cruel Roman way on a cross just outside the city for all to see. They wanted “blood” and they soon would get what they asked for…(all according to Scripture!) Jesus told the Truth. Jesus was the Truth. It was going to be tough to convict Him.
They needed help. They incited a crowd to gather and shout their false accusations about Jesus so all the city could hear and take notice. Pilate noticed. So he took Jesus out to the crowd for judgement.
When you suddenly give an oppressed people a choice, they don’t think twice about using this new right to judge. Incited by Jewish religious leaders sent among the crowd, the mob mentality took over and the choice was made.
“Do you want me to release ‘King of the Jews’, Pilate shouted to the crowd. (The custom was to release one Jewish prisoner during the Passover.)
The mob of rebellion shouted back, “NO, Not this man!”
They said and resounding NO to Jesus, Son of God. Isn’t that just like the world?
John 18, New Living Translation
Jesus’ Trial before Pilate
Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?”
30 “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted.
31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them.
“Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die.)
33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.
34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. 39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?”
40 But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)
How many times do we go along with the crowd mentality and slink back from Truth in the Person of Jesus?
When giving the chance to choose…Who do we choose?
Are we crowd influencers or inciters?
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” –Jesus
Who leads us, seriously? The world or Jesus? Lies or Truth?
Dear Heavenly Father,
I want to be led by Truth, by YOU. Open our eyes to see you clearly. Open our ears to hear the slightest whisper of your voice. Open our minds to understand Truth. Open our hearts and souls to be filled with You alone. Cleanse every dark corner and fill us with Your Holy Spirit. I choose You because You chose me.
In Jesus Name, Amen