Luke 22:12 –The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, because they were afraid of what the people might do.

Gratitude Day 826

Fear is so interesting. Some people have a real and respectful attitude towards fear. Others try and convince themselves that it really isn’t a big deal.

Until it is.

I have discovered that in the last few years, I have not been as adventurous as I once considered myself. The fear of trying something new or different and not succeeding is very real in my life these days. The Younger Dianne might have contemplated the obstacles before and still plunged ahead anyway.

Why has my attitude towards fear and possible failure changed? It’s hard to pinpoint.

Maybe this is why this particular Holy Week, I feel myself relating more to the chief priests and teachers of the law than previously. At the beginning of the 22nd chapter of Luke’s gospel, the author spills the beans. Why did these religious leaders feel fear? “They were afraid of what the people might do.”

So, what were they afraid the people might do? Kill Jesus? Run him out of town? Do something awful to him.

No, I do not think this was their fear at all.

The religious leader’s fear was that the normal, everyday, regular people might decide that following Jesus and his teachings were more relatable than what the Jewish religious leaders taught. These men became full of fear that their influence and standing within the Jewish community would be diminished. They were scared that their opinion and influence would be set aside as people sought wisdom and guidance from a carpenter from the village that no one wanted to admit they were from, Nazareth. As time when on and Jesus became more popular and sought after, I can only imagine the fear and anxiety that the religious leaders felt. Would anyone turn to them for advice or guidance? How would they keep people financially supporting the temple if they were sitting on the steps outside of the temple listening to this guy who sometimes discreated Jewish law?

There was real fear of missing out, losing their status and becoming insignificant. Quickly.

So, they began to hatch a plan to eliminate the One who was threatening their cause, tradition and history. This guy named Jesus HAD to go. Period.

Theologically, there is great discussion about whether it was God’s decision to have Jesus die or if it was the religious leaders decision. Who should be blamed? Whenever something awful happens, we naturally want to blame someone. So, who is at fault?

It’s impossible to completely sort this out. Certainly, God could have prevented this from happening. And God did not. Did God anticipate this would happen long before it did? This is my personal belief. But did the religious leaders have a hand in the events of that first Holy Week? Certainly.

Another question that often arises is if Jesus really is God’s son, why didn’t HE stop the awful chain of events? Could not have Jesus said, “Enough?”

Of course. But he didn’t.

Why not?

Because Jesus understand that what he did would forever change the world. Completely redefine how love and grace and mercy should and must be interpreted. Demonstrate that sacrifice means something.

This is how Paul wrote about Jesus’ approach to his death in Ephesians 2:8:

And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross.

Humbled. It WAS Jesus’ choice. God did not force Jesus to die this way. He humbly chose to do so.

Humbleness is not a gift that is often highly revered. Unfortunately, we encourage people to be forthright, risk takers, and even a bit aggressive. Humble? Not so much.

How can we have a meaningful and yet simple Holy Week this year?

Choose to be humble.

Choose to not need recognition for something we do. And do it anyways.

Purposefully choose not to point out to someone what wonderful thing you did and do it anyways.

Let the person go in front of you. Just because.

Be gracious beyond your normal ability because you can.

Let someone else garner the accolades and be just fine with it.

Redirect attention to someone else who is struggling and needs a boost.

Let me be clear. Humbleness is NOT the same as fear. Fear keeps our thoughts at the center of what we do. Humbleness says that we are OK if someone else gets recognized, even if they deserve it or not. And it’s OK.

How might the events of that first Holy Week have been different had the religious leaders chosen humility over fear? We will never know. But WE can change humility as a higher calling than fear. When we do, we honestly are choosing to live and model Jesus’ in our lives.

We will never fully be holy. We can’t because we are also sinners. But we can create more holiness in our lives. One way we do this is by embracing more humbleness in our lives. How can we embrace more of the lessons and learnings from Holy Week in our lives? Let humbleness create more space and direction in our life these days. Purposefully. Intentionally. Because we CAN.

Creating more humbleness does not begin with huge, dramatic changes. It starts small. With intentionality. Out of our choice. With little fanfare.

Friends – No matter what worship services you do or do not participate in this week, YOU can embrace humbleness. Whether you fully appreciate and/or understand why Jesus did what Jesus did, YOU can live humbleness. And this, my friends, can be a deeply meaningful and wonderful way to prepare your heart and mind for Easter Sunday.

For the strong and important lesson of humbleness that Jesus lived, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Most Holy God – Thank you for this much needed lesson of humbleness that you have lived during Your early life. May I choose to embrace more humbleness this week. Amen.

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