Thursday, August 25, 2011

Unholy Alliances

“That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been hostile toward each other.” (Luke 23:12)

In the world of social interactions there are alliances, enemies, and neutralities. The neutralities are relationships which have no impact on values, objectives, goals, and friendships, so we tend to ignore those interactions mostly, unless they venture across a perceived line. Enemies represent the competition whose goals are in conflict, producing hostility. Alliances are the networks that work toward common goals and produce friendship and camaraderie.

Herod and Pilate were not friends. They were prideful competitors in the world of politics and intrigue. Even though both served the Roman Empire, each saw the other more in terms of “enemy.” Distrust ruled their interactions. At least, until Jesus entered their world, that was the case. When Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent Him to Herod who had jurisdiction over Galilee. Herod treated Jesus with content and sent Him back to Pilate who ultimately crucified Him.

That day, Pilate and Herod became friends. How nice. Two former enemies were now friends. Their friendship was built on a newfound mutual respect for the right of the other to handle legal matters related to their respective jurisdictions, and it all came about because of a case of religious blasphemy toward a circuit-riding preacher from Galilee who claimed to be a king!

How pointless! Herod and Pilate were both clueless with regard to Who was before them. This was the Son of God, and they missed it. They were possessed by the political, cultural, social, and pagan world. In their worldview, Jesus was a nobody. Only Rome matters. Their alliance was built on thinking they were right, when, in reality, they were truly clueless.

Oddly enough, not much has changed since then. There are organizations and individuals in our day which build friendships and alliances on prideful goals intended to debunk and derail anything that is spiritual. Some of them have Christianity in their cross-hairs.

Jesus once told His disciples that no servant is above their master, and if their master is treated badly, they should expect at least the same. We thus need to be reminded today that we have a citizenship that is in heaven more than it is in any other place. As much as we may appreciate our citizenship in a nation of this world, we should remember that we have an eternal citizenship with the Lord in heaven, and that is a citizenship that will see us through anything.

Lord, We thank You that we belong to You. We thank You that we can participate in life with You, knowing that the day will come when You recall us to our true home country. Amen.

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