This morning in my time with God, He led me to John 11:48. It was as if the verse was holding me, I couldn't read past it or go away from it. The context is that many people were believing in Jesus and who He said He is but the religious authorities saw it as a threat.
Note: I've heard some antisemetic people use a claim that "the jews killed Jesus" as right to their disgusting hatred. First of all, we all killed Jesus as He died for everyone's sins even dusty antisemites. Second, nobody "killed" Jesus, they didn't catch Him slipping, He knew full well what was going on and He offered himself "as a sheep to slaughter" as Isaiah put it.
Third, a group of religious authorities plotted. And it's always your own people. If an American gets killed, it was probably an American that did it. It will most of the time be your own people.
Moving along, in the verse, the high up guys say, "If we let Him (Jesus) alone, everyone will believe in Him and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation."
This move of God -prophecy being fulfilled before their eyes- terrified this group of religious authorities for the same reason it terrifies anyone who puts religion and power over the moves of the Holy Spirit.
They were afraid to lose their "place" and their "nation." While some people say that "place"refers to the temple, I don't thin it's only half true. I think it means place in the temple, as in status. The temple was divided with places for women, gentiles, and of course, the Holy of Holies. Where someone could be in the temple was determined by status.
Religious authorities enjoyed the best of the best, closed door access both in the place of worship and society. They were high up, respected, had inner access, influence and power. Yeshua came to destroy all of that and allow everyone equal access to God. God's move was razing the high places built in people's heads and hearts and they were big mad.
An equal playing field, equal access to the heart of God would topple the high horses they sat on.
Their second fear of losing their "nation" was valid in a sense. Rome had the Jewish people under tight and brutal control. Their every move was dictated and required approval. Jewish uprisings had always had bloody consequences for everyone. So the fear of what Rome would do if an unauthorized authority came into power could be seen as legitimate, but as people of God the fear of man doesn't dictate our moves.
God was doing such a big thing, The Big Thing, the Messiah had entered the scene, redemption was/is here. As it does, the Light always exposes darkness is also exposes true attachments and allegiances.
People with nothing- no status, no reputation, no power- regular people chose Yeshua in droves. Those more afraid of people in power than they were moved by God, or at least willing to put their faith in god, chose otherwise.
"Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees (religious authorities) they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." John 12:42-43
And while it is so easy to look at religious leaders or people and say, "I'd never do that, I love Jesus," as God is moving now and revival is happening not just in public places but in homes, hearts, and minds, people will have to choose.
Moves of God shifts power structures. Razes hierarchies. It asks us to be love Him more than we are afraid of what people will think, status we'll have to let go of, or even the need to know how next month's bills are going to get paid.
People of God love to see revival but when it starts to happen in your own life, home, place, of worship, or relationships will you yield it all to Him?
That's what He asked me. His Light is burning so brightly in this world and it's exposing the little things I thought I could keep to myself, the comforts, the just-in-case's, the chairs that help you stand a little higher up than your neighbor.
Will you let His fire sweep across it all? was the question I was asked this morning. My answer was a little yes, with His help, because I know His heart and mind.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
He's a ride or die God. Thankfully Jesus is our strength and keeper. The Author and Finisher of our faith. So in this time, perhaps we hold all things with gentle hands, being willing to let go of what isn't ours, clutching tightly only to Jesus and the things He's put in our hearts to do in this short time.
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2
No one can have a relationship with God for you. It's not about culture or even religion. It's a real relationship where He speaks, loves, comforts, helps and most of all redeems. If you're lost, go to Him. I post this video because it's the place to start.