They said it like it left a bad taste in their mouth. “Look, the world has gone after Him!” (John 12:19). Jealousy and spite came gurgling up from the bile of sanctimonious bellies, as scribe and Pharisee lashed out at Jesus in rage. From instances like these, it easy to understand how their blind envy could crescendo into the dirge of a crucifixion. There is no animosity so strong as in those who hate the truth.
Such is the angst of rebellion, that ugly refusal to face the facts; it is an old disease and epidemic in society, from ancient times to today. The hate-mongers of religious piety belittled Moses (Numbers 16:3), the pious self-righteous dragged Stephen beyond the city gates to stone him for preaching Moses’s prediction of Jesus (Acts 7:58), and those of the same sordid stripe continue today to berate and denigrate the faithful who preach the Jesus Moses looked for (1 Peter 4:16).
Honest and open hearts still hunger for the truth. The hindrances to this hope, however, still reside in a spiteful “clergy” that will not only refuse to give an answer for their unscriptural, ungodly innovations, but will also be quick to heap derision upon anyone who dares question their self-appointed religious position. As did the Pharisees, religious authoritarians today scoff at invitations to go to the Book for answers to life’s issues and permission for worship practices. Instead, like the Pharisees, they are quick to quote and defend the stale traditions to which they have endeared themselves, these “laws of dead men.” Loyalty to self can be contagious.
We are not of those whose blindness to righteousness can be measured in evil glares or slanderous character assignations (Ezekiel 2:6; 3:9). A truth-seeker will not stand for such rebellion but, instead, will take God at His word. God said: “Prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and so we do. We follow Peter’s commandment to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Accept nothing except what can be proven through God’s Word; then accept the truth.