October 4

Matthew 21:42-46

“When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.” vs. 45

The religious leaders of the Jews were not lacking in intelligence–they got the point of Jesus’ parables and knew that he had been talking about them. But it made absolutely no difference in their behavior. They did not repent of their foolish ways and become his followers. Instead they began to plot about how they might arrest him in a way that would not inflame the crowds. They’d rather shut him up than change their ways. Those same instincts continue to fuel passions in our current debates about important issues. Even when people know in their hearts that their lifelong convictions should change, they are seldom inclined to change their positions. It seems that they would rather hang on to the old than embrace the new. Some will even ignore clear scientific evidence about the need for change in order to continue in their old destructive ways. They even look for ways to silence or discredit those calling for repentance. Our old friend, Paul, stood squarely in those Pharisaic circles in his youth. Only a visit from the Risen Christ convinced him to change–and that same sort of thing keeps on happening. Out of the blue Christ comes and we are moved to adopt new ways of thinking about God and our world, and our stubborn denials become a thing of the past. How good it is when the Spirit of God intervenes and the truth dawns!

Thought for the Day: What does it take for me to change my mind?

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