Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. (Matthew 22:15)
It’s not an isolated incident. Religious leaders were always seeking opportunities to twist Jesus’ words, catch Him breaking a rule–anything to discredit Him and diminish His increasing influence among the people. We’ve read the stories so often, maybe we take them for granted.
The religious leaders are the bad guys, right? Except, they’re not. Not really. The Pharisees were folks who tried really hard to get it right, but somewhere along the way they got lost.
Ever wonder what might have happened if they approached Jesus differently?
What would have happened if they assumed the best rather than the worst?
What if they started from a place of trust instead of suspicion? What if they assumed He meant well instead of harm? What if they assumed He had everyone’s best interest at heart?
What would have happened if they asked before they judged or condemned?
What if they assumed they didn’t know the whole story? What if they genuinely desired to understand before deciding?
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You and I can’t change the interactions between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day. But every day I (and I’ll bet you) encounter situations, discussions, teachings, and decisions that don’t make sense. It’s so tempting to jump to a conclusion, judgement, condemnation based on my perspective.
What if I always assumed best intentions?
What if I make sure I understand before I decide?
What if I always lead with love and grace?
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