Honestly declaring where we stand and why is stifled by concern for how others may view us. The Christian faith is not committed to gaining the most votes, running a popularity contest, or finishing high in the polls. We must take a hard and honest stand for truth, even if it is not popular. Maneuvering to protect constituencies, as the Pharisees do here, is a sign of spiritual weakness that can kill a ministry or personal credibility. If we keep our eye on the votes of our culture, God’s truth and being honest about it usually suffer. Being truthful does not mean being callous, but it does mean that we should show enough honesty to make clear where we stand and why. (Bock)
45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’[a]; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[b]”
47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
1 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
- Where did Jesus enter?
- Why couldn’t the leaders kill Jesus?
- What was the elders’ answer to Jesus’ question?
- When have you been dishonest because you feared people?
- Is Christmas too commercial? Has it lost the truth?
http://xmasfun.com/lyrics.asp lists Christmas carols and songs. Which ones do you think tell the truth about Christmas? Why has Christmas become so much about Santa Claus and gifts? What can Christians do to speak up for the truth?