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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday message: You see to it

"You see to it" is the phrase used twice in Matthew 27 in my Bible for situations bearing on the trial and crucifixion of Christ.  Before we look at them, let me go back to the end of the story (because you know how we Time Lords perceive chronology!)

Last night I listened to a sermon by Dr Tony Evans.  In it, he explained the help of the Lord thusly:  That God promises and is faithful to help you when attacked by Satan.  BUT.... you have to make that ACTION STEP, some positive thing that YOU are willing to resist, and then God "will have your back".

Too often we Christians (those of you who are; for the rest of you, maybe this will give you perspective on the difference between "hypocrite" and "not perfect, just forgiven") see our faith as a passive one- once we are saved, we take our hands off the wheel and let Jesus do the driving.  We give up responsibility for our own behavior, and for our own unrepentant sinning.  But that analogy fails in real life:  Google cars notwithstanding, no matter how powered the steering and brakes are, no matter how well Siri gives us directions, we still need OUR hands on the wheel.

In the first case in Matthew, Judas comes back to the priests of the Jews.  He has suddenly figured out that what he thought would be a cheap buck made in return for a quickie trial and a fierce tongue lashing of Jesus was in fact leading to Jesus' death.  He proclaims Jesus' innocence to the men he sold him out to, and throws back his quick buck.  Somewhere in his mind, he wants to make it all go away, to just turn things around and forget they ever happened.  But, the die is already cast, the sin HAD been committed, and all his "I didn't mean to"s meant nothing.  And the answer he gets is, "What is that to us?  You see to it"- literally, "Not our problem, take responsibility for your own self."

But the thing is, "I didn't mean it" isn't the same as going to Jesus and saying, "I am sorry, I have sinned against You", and meaning it.  Instead, he was blaming the priests for going too far, for not realizing he "didn't really mean it".  In a way, this was kinda like the Fall.  First Adam blamed Eve, then Eve blamed the serpent.  Nobody stood up and said, I screwed up.  I remember an old commercial that started with, "Passing the buck, that great American pastime."  But passing the buck goes back a LOT farther than that.

But that's just one way we manage to justify sin. The other time the phrase "you see to it" is used marks another.  In the second use, Pilate has tried everything he is able to do (without putting his own head on the chopping block) to keep from executing Jesus for a bunch of nothing.  The people, egged on by the priests, are having none of it.  So Pilate washes his hands, declares himself "innocent of the blood of this just man", and says, "You see to it."  The crowd, according to Matthew, accepts that blame, and Jesus goes to Golgotha.

In essence, Pilate was "just going along with the crowd."  It wasn't his fault "society is the way it is;"  how was he supposed to stand and be counted "when everybody does it"?  If Pilate really wanted to be innocent, he needed to do one thing: MAKE A DECISION.  Torn between what he knew was right and what he thought would get him into trouble back home, he went along with the crowd, seeking to hide his personal blame somewhere in the mass of those who were also to blame, the old "you can't shoot us all for trying" theory.

Neither of these men took what Dr Evans would have called an "action step".  One said, "You just took me the wrong way"; the other said, "You can't blame me for this".  Which thing do you do, knowing you shouldn't, do you do, saying, "well you just don't understand why I HAVE to"?  Which do you excuse by saying "everybody does it"?  Take a cold hard look with me in the mirror and see Jesus saying, "Why do you take your hands off the wheel?"

Judas thought it too hard to go to the man He wronged, because it would be an admission of guilt.  Pilate thought he could walk away and not be responsible.  But is it really that hard for us?  Another pastor I heard this weekend mentioned that a prayer to God for His Divine help can be as simple as, "HEEEEELLLLLP!"  But as you see in these examples, it has to START with taking your own responsibility.  YOU have to see to it.


  1. Chris:
    That analogy is a MARVELOUS one.
    (never taking one's hands "off the wheel")
    Love it.
    And the examples of Judas and Pilate seem like something ripped from TODAY'S news.
    (just change some names and VOILA|!)

    What goes around DOES come around (the repetition of history), and there are more than a few lessons to be gleaned from THIS post.

    Well done.

    Stay safe up there, brother.

  2. Now this was a bloody interesting post, thank you

  3. I've thought for a very long time that it was the saddest thing of all that Judas did as he did. I mean, it would've been a very human thing to go first to the priests to see if you can't turn the ship around. Give back the money, etc. But how powerful would the act of forgiveness had been had Judas not killed himself, but instead been alive when Jesus came back. If Judas had come to Jesus and asked for forgiveness and been granted that forgiveness. What a healing story for anyone who feels their sin is TOO BIG to be forgiven. I suppose that knowing that it could've happened that way is also very powerful (when you accept the scope of God's forgiveness when you take the action step). Judas, like so many of us, couldn't forgive himself... and made the mistake of believing because he couldn't forgive himself, God couldn't forgive him. Too often we impose our own limitation upon God much to our own detriment and pain.

    1. I wonder, though... after Jesus gave him the "But woe to him..." speech, if he felt that there wasn't any chance for forgiveness. Or if there really WASN'T any chance for him.