Saturday, April 12, 2003

Edifier du Jour-John 11:47-53(NASB)
47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, "What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish." 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
Here's a good example of God using bad things for our good. He had planned to have Jesus be served up as a sacrifice and the Jewish spiritual leaders wound up being used as the tool. Not that the Jews were seeing Jesus as the Messiah; they were merely trying to limit the competition. The first verses of this passage struck me. Jesus was performing many signs and this was eating away at Judaism’s market share. That's true even today; the churches where God is seen to be actively moving will take market share away from the places of worship where He isn't. Stagnant churches have two choices: look to see what they're not doing right or find a way to discount the signs that are manifesting elsewhere. Too often, churches choose the latter.

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