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Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

It was quite political back then as well. Governments were corrupt and so was the religious establishment.

Everyone thought they knew how things would go. For the disciples, they had a miracle worker as their teacher/leader. He could stop a storm and raise people from the dead. Surely he would prevail.

The Sanhedrin and Pharisees had a prophecy and traditions to uphold. They were “all in” and were confident that they would know and recognize the foretold Messiah. But this young upstart, this Jesus, was just another rebel, using tricks and magic to sway the masses.

And the Romans, well, they had their law and order and strength to rule the whole world. Their gods had blessed their Caesar and they were loyal to a fault. Why would they even question that authority? God help the man who tried.

Just One More Death

He was just one more punishment, one more lesson for the masses, one more death. That one they called Jesus, he could have talked his way out of it; the evidence was sketchy at best. The crowd could yelled louder to release him. Even the disciples wondered why he didn’t stop the proceedings.

None of it made sense to the human mind or to the naked eye. sometimes it’s the worst of times that must happen to shed light on the truth.

” By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
   Who could have imagined his future?” Isaiah 53:8 [RSV,CV]

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Acts 8:18-19
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Poor Simon… he just didn’t get it. Here he had been following Philip and the other new Samaritan believers around and he was happy as a clam. That is, until Peter and John show up and take the next step… praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon those new believers.

Something dramatic must have happened. We are not told what. It could have been the speaking in other tongues as with the disciples, it could have been tongues of fire or wind or just an outpouring of great power. We will never know. But we do know that Simon the former sorcerer was impressed and all his old habits and desires and power came into play. Everything in him was saying, “gotta have it.”

He did not realize that this laying on of hands was a gift. It was a gift that came with devotion. It was a gift that only the Giver could choose to give or not give. And so, Simon made a mistake and lusted for it.

I have made Simon’s mistake. I have coveted the giftings of others. I have wished for the ministries of others. I have dreamed of God using me as a healer or a prophet. I have inwardly negotiated for more power.

God forgive me.

The old ways die hard. One of my besetting sins is a desire for fame. Generally, I have that well covered by grace. But there are days when it slips out like a little demon and sits on my shoulder spouting long monologues about recognition, notoriety, success and fans! Like the love of money, fame corrupts the soul.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

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