Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Verily I say unto thee - Nip it in the bud!

In the preparation/Background material for the small group curriculum we use here at the church, I came across an interesting comparison this afternoon. As I was preparing to give a short background talk tomorrow night, I read this:
On “The Andy Griffith Show,” Don Knotts played a small town deputy who constantly sought to prove his authority as “the law in these parts.” Because his job held very little authority in Mayberry, he relished every opportunity he got to investigate a crime or put someone behind bars. Trouble awaited anyone who tried to step between Deputy Barney Fife and his authority.
Although the Jewish religious leaders during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry were not comical, they too felt the sting of a powerless position and relished every opportunity they had to prove their authority. The Roman government had come in and taken many freedoms away from the Jewish people, as well as most of the authority from the religious leaders.
The Romans considered religious matters petty and a waste of time. Only in this area did they step back and allow the Jewish people to govern themselves. Therefore, the Pharisees found themselves in a position similar to that of a small town deputy. Matters which the Roman government found inconsequential were monumental to them. They worked hard to maintain their authority among the Jewish people and held onto the little power they had with clenched fists.
That's right. First Century Jewish Religious Leaders = Deputy Barney Fife.
Interesting, no? I'm willing to bet you know people like this in your church, or office. People who have appointed themselves arbiters over meaningless things, because they have nothing really meaning-full in their lives. Please don't use my comments section to name names.

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