I was struck by the question the religious leaders ask in this passage, “What are we accomplishing?”
It sounds like a perfectly good question for any organization to ask itself. It sounds like something that might be said in the midst of a constructive process of self-critical reflection, in a gathering of administrators, or elders, or a staff meeting. Let’s make a list. Let’s measure our progress. Let’s evaluate our performance. Let’s do a SWAT. Let’s GTD.
What might be more admirable about the motives in this passage than those in some of my own meetings is that they are, at least, measuring their progress in comparison to what Jesus is accomplishing. They are afraid of what could happen to them, to their institutions, to their legacy if Jesus becomes the standard by which their accomplishments are weighed by those they hope to lead.
By what do we measure our progress? What motivates our self-measurement? How often do we find ourselves pacing our organizations by the success of “competitors,” fearing irrelevance, fearing second place? How often do we look to the work of God and notice that, if folks are paying attention, they might begin to wonder if what we’re doing is accomplishing much in comparison?
May we fearfully and graciously follow, in word and deed, the one who calls those he loves out of the tombs and into the light.
Who are you tempted to view as the “competition” against whom you measure your success?