Saturday, August 13, 2016

John 11:46-47 -- On Fearing Man More Than God

"Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation."
John 11:46-47

This is about the point where they decide in the New Testament to kill Christ. They were afraid of the Romans, and from a non-spiritual standpoint, maybe that makes total sense, but from a spiritual standpoint, probably the worst choice in history.

This is a very, very touchy subject, but let's step back for a minute and think about this, because I think we might be much more like the men who made these decisions than we think we are.

This situation seems like the epitome of the idea that comes across in D&C 3:7: "you should not have feared man more than God."  That scripture was given to Joseph Smith when he lost the 116 pages from the beginning of the Book of Mormon.  Moses had a similar crisis when he worried more about what the Children of Israel thought than what God thought.  ... And maybe we all have that problem sometimes.  Maybe even a lot.  Martha, earlier in this same chapter, knew that Jesus was the Christ, and she even told Christ that she knew that even after her brother Lazarus was dead, that God would give Christ anything he asked for (Luke 11:22), and yet, when Jesus asked that the stone be removed, she was still worried about the stink (John 11:39).

We all have things that we worry about more than we worry about God, and because we do, those things interfere with our Faith and with our relationship with God.  Today, let's think about what those things are, and let's start getting them out of the way.  God will support us through any fears, through any challenges, if we will put our trust in him, and put him first in our lives.  If we put something else first, then the consequences will vary, but we can be absolutely certain that we're going to make some awful decisions, just as these men did because they feared the Romans more than God.  Let's try to get our priorities straight, and when we come to the same kind of decisions, let's try to dismiss our fears, and trust that God knows what he is doing... because he definitely does. :)

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