“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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What Does Christ’s Truth Look Like?

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)

Christ’s truth looks…stupid. Dumb. Foolish. That is, to a person who is not born again. It is, as Paul says, only by the Spirit that anyone is able to recognize the wisdom of God. After all, so blind is the fallen human heart and mind that as Paul puts it “the rulers of this age” killed the most innocent man who ever lived!

If you find yourself in a local church, for example, where things are being pretty much run as a secular corporation, you can be sure that you are in the midst of a place and people devoid of the Spirit of God.  Listen to Paul again:

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