“Give us Barabbas!” – When the Wicked are Chosen and the Righteous Rejected

Matthew 27:21-23 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”  And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

Barabbas was a notorious criminal. Jesus was perfectly righteous. Yet, in spite of the protests of the governor and the absence of charges, the Jews cried our for His death. “Let Him be crucified!”  They chose a wicked man over a righteous Lamb. We all know how deceptive abusers can be. Sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths – how they can charm! And we know that this is one of the reasons pastors and whole churches are taken in by these wicked ones. Naivete. Ignorance of abuse and its tactics. All of us were there at one time ourselves.

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Elitists Love to Creep into Church Leadership Positions

1 Timothy 3:2-3  Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,  (3)  not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

I was thinking recently about this quality that the Lord requires in a pastor/elder called – hospitable. You have probably heard before that it literally means “a lover of strangers.” It is far more than merely hosting hospitality social events. It really is a facet of love. It is loving people who cannot do anything in return for you. It is an objective love that doesn’t show favoritism.

Many of the wicked have what we would call an “elitist” mentality. They are motivated by “what’s in it for me?” because that really is why they do what they do. And so it is when they get into a church leadership position. “What’s in it for me?” they always ask (though usually not out loud).  They are a cut above the rest of us rabble. This thinking is an evil leaven that can quickly spread throughout a local church. It is a spiritual pandemic today in fact.

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How Would John the Baptist Deal With a Wicked Person in the Church?

Today I was thinking about John the Baptist. The Lord Jesus said that John was the greatest of the prophets. John is a very interesting Bible personality because he was the last of the Old Testament prophets, coming on the scene to end a 400 year silence from heaven. Was John a man filled with the Holy Spirit? Was he a man commissioned by God to declare God’s Word? Totally! Absolutely! His ministry was even prophesied of centuries before:

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3)

Alright then, here is my question: How would John the Baptist deal with an abuser who hides in the church, claiming to be a Christian?

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