This week I am finishing up the Gospel of Mark for my annual read through. The opening verse of Chapter 14 hit me with fresh eyes to see the contrast between Jesus’ kind of leadership and what we tend to see in the world.
It was two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a cunning way to arrest Jesus and kill Him. “Not during the festival,” they said, “so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”Mark 14: 1-2 CSV
“Cunning” jumped out at me so I grabbed our old faithful Webster’s and looked it up.
Among other things it implies a deceitful and plotting way of getting something done. Devising a plan and scheming to make it happen.
The enemies of Jesus wanted Him arrested and then dead, but they had nothing valid to use against Him and they wanted the crowd on their side. Jesus calls their methods out in verses 48 and 49 of the same chapter.
As they use the cover of night and gather soldiers to hunt Him down, He points out the evil of their deception. He had been teaching in the temple in broad daylight, unarmed, every day and they could have arrested Him.
I needed to hear this contrast between the way Jesus works and the way the world works today. Jesus doesn’t do things in “cunning” ways. He never stewed about how to work things as to be a crowd pleaser. He wasn’t manipulating the facts to get His way.
I am currently sickened by the twisting of words and the plotting of leaders on all sides. I don’t trust any of them to be telling the truth and I can get discouraged. I can get pulled into the muck of worldly power plays that want to kill what is praise worthy and holy and righteous.
This morning as I read these passages, I was reminded that the things of this earth are temporary.
A day will come when all that was hidden will be revealed. The One who knows our hearts and judges rightly and fairly will openly finish this mess. I take comfort that He doesn’t plot or scheme. He isn’t cunning.
He is wise and He is open and He is telling us the truth in His Word. We can put our faith and our Hope in Him. Yes, we must live and function in this world, but we have a promise from Him that will not fail. He told us up front and clearly that we would have trouble here, but we could take heart because He has overcome the world.
If your heart is tired of the cunning of man, lean hard into the truth of Christ. I encourage you to spend as much or more time reading what God says as you do reading and listening to the noise out there.