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Strategic sinning; right timing for wrongdoing. (Pleasing people to offend God! ....)

Rev. Enoch Thompson | August 31, 2023 |*Matthew 26:1-5*


⁴. . . . they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. "But not during the Feast," they said, "or there may be a riot among the people." Matthew 26:4-5 NIV


Over the centuries there has been a practice among humans, using God or the things of God, to personal advantage even when that advantage is directly opposed to God and His purposes. In our next few reflections in the Gospel according to Matthew, we shall see the heightening of the hatred of the Jewish religious leaders against the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, we are approaching the accounts of His arrest, misjudgement, humiliation, manhandling and crucifixion at their hands. Their evil intentions against the sinless Man of Nazareth are going to find fulfilment.

We need to understand that for the Lord Jesus Christ all of this was already known to Him. In verse 2 of our text, He declared to His audience, "As you know, the Passover is two days away — and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." He was born to die to be that ultimate sacrifice that will settle our indebtedness to God, and He was prepared for it. He knew that His death was linked to the Passover, the celebration of how God freed the enslaved people of Israel from Egypt, and He knew that His enemies would use this intervention of God in their national history as an opportunity to try to finish Him off. And while the religious leaders were preparing to end His life, He was preparing His followers to be able to withstand the effect of their evil against Him on them.

The religious leaders were meticulous and strategic concerning the timing for their crime. They would do their evil, but they would ensure that it was not going to look like a disrespect of the Feast. They wanted to appear as respecting the Feast, and therefore showing themselves to the people as good religious leaders, whereas their thoughts, whenever it was going to find manifestation, was going to be against true religion and godly conscience. They did not respect the Feast in itself, they were concerned about avoiding a riot among the people, which in turn would bring them into conflict with the Roman authority! They were using the cloak of religion to cover the heart of strategic sinfulness.


Do we really acknowledge God and worship Him, or do we use God and the things related to God for our mischievous advantage? Do we plot and plan ways in which we can do evil, and still seem to be godly? Let’s decide to hate sin, be sincere in our religion, and serve God, rather than let God serve us in our religiosity.


Dear God, heal my heart from the attachment to that which offends your holiness, sin. Please help me avoid a religion that uses you and calculates my sinfulness with a decoration of your worthiness. Lord, give me a pure and worshipful heart, and may my approach to you be true. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ____________________________

DAILY word study: SLY WAY

The phrase "sly way" is translated from the Greek words "δόλῳ" (dolō) and "λαβεῖν" (labēin).

"δόλῳ" (dolō): This Greek noun refers to craftiness, deceit, or trickery. It signifies a cunning or devious approach to achieve a hidden purpose.

"λαβεῖν" (labēin): This Greek verb means "to seize," "to take hold of," or "to apprehend."

The phrase "sly way" highlights the darker aspects of human intentions and actions. It signifies a deliberate effort to achieve a hidden goal through deceit and craftiness. In this context, it underscores the unscrupulous motives of the religious leaders who were determined to eliminate Jesus without causing a public uproar.

This passage invites us to reflect on the nature of our intentions and actions. It serves as a reminder that God sees the true intentions of our hearts, even when they are concealed from others. It challenges us to be transparent, honest, and motivated by love and righteousness rather than pursuing personal gain through deceitful means.


How can you ensure that your intentions and actions are characterized by transparency, integrity, and righteousness? How does your understanding of the consequences of "sly" or deceitful ways influence the choices you make and the way you interact with others?

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