Who are the Elders, the Chief Priests and the Teachers of the Law? They are us. As Pogo famously said: “We have met the enemy and THEY are US.”
We run our churches, design and implement all church programs, decide what portion of receipts will be used to pay the staff, what portion will go to mission and so on. Nothing happens without one of us being on top of it, involved in it, directing it.
And what do we deny ourselves in the process? What do we give up? What? We skip a golf game? We don’t have time to eat out on Wednesday? People say, “We give our time, talent and gobbldy-gook.” I am not impressed, and I suspect Jesus would not be either. I mean, no one gave money, time and talent to the “church” as much as the Elders, Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law, you know.
The truth is none of us gives up or is willing to give up our chosen lifestyle, and the fact that we include church and church activities in that lifestyle means nothing. We don’t really (honestly) deny ourselves, anything (if we can afford it). We are not willing to lose our life for our faith. And we are all of us very much interested in gaining the world. Heaven can wait.
The truth is we would not know honest sacrifice if it bit us in the face. Not sacrifice for God, not most of us, anyway.
And then there is this: Peter heard what God planned to do. I suspect millions of people have heard what God wants to do with them, through them, in their lives. But God, could we be more deaf? Could we try harder to convince ourselves that what we have and how we live is what God wants for us? And if we should hear something from God that doesn’t square with our desires and lifestyle, can we possibly scream louder, “No God! This shall never be!”
Sure, Heaven can wait. But what do you expect when you get there? Really? I would find that surprising. Yes, this is like a prophetic word, and too late, you already read it.
(Ooooo… I’m not reading this blog anymore. He’s mean!!!).