Summary: I looked across my bookshelf, I came upon a book I hadn’t read for some time: The Conspiracy of Kindness. I won’t give away all the details of the book, but I will share that it has lead me, once again, to really examine how I see myself in the realm of k
1. The battle begins at home:
The story begins in chapter 5 where Jesus heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda. It’s a familiar story of the man who had been lying near the pool for 38 years, but could never make it in to be healed. Jesus heals the man, ending 40 years of pain and sadness and sickness, but because the healing happened on the Sabbath, it can’t be accepted. The man gets caught carrying his mat, and when questioned about carrying it one the Sabbath the leaders soon find out he was healed by Jesus. When confronted Jesus confirms His role in the healing and even calls God His Father. And from chapter 5 through 8 the church leaders are in a roar because of what this man has done. The start of chapter 6 mentions time passing, then the feeding of 5000, yet in the middle of chapter 7 people are still complaining about him healing on the Sabbath - days or even several weeks after this man was healed.
They call Him demon possessed; they state that He has deceived and mind controlled all the “common people” because they don’t know the law; they even question his validity because none of the senior pastors, bishops, elders, or deacons believe him. All of this because He did not follow proper church protocol. (John 7:45-49)
So while these things are happening Jesus takes a step to the Mount of Olives - I’d image for a spiritual reset & recharge, and returns to the temple to share a message again. And while He is teaching, in the middle of a sermon, the leaders interrupt, charge in, woman in tow, to present to Jesus a woman caught in the act.
2. In kindness we share peace
Think about this: Jesus is in the middle of the sermon. He’s in the flow of the spirit. Minds are being impacted. People are in the congregation saying things like “how is He able to speak so profoundly?” “Why have I never heard this before?”. Hearts are changing and in the midst of a powerful act of the spirit the church leaders dismantle it all in an effort to discredit Jesus. It is amazingly saddening to me to see the lengths people will go to get rid of someone they don’t want. It is even more saddening to me how people will use others as guinea pigs in the process of getting rid of someone they don’t want.
What is amazing to me is how Jesus responds to the attack.
He doesn’t erupt in a barrage of attacks laced in anger because they interrupted his sermon.
He doesn’t pick up along with the accusers, “well - Leviticus 20:10 does state ‘If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.’ It’s tight but it’s right - so you have to deal with it.
He doesn’t say well, we need to address this now. Protocol states that the case must be brought before the church conference, if only after approval by the steward board, so that the official board can then submit a request to the quarterly conference so that if need be it can be forwarded as a discussion item for the Annual Conference subject to decision by the bishop. Her fate is at stake right now!
I was at a church conference 3 years ago when 2 members of a church approached a bishop pleading because the pastor of their church had nearly one hundred of thousand dollars for personal expenses. The members had sought legal counsel and had actually won the case legally and were pleading with the bishop to recognize this so that the pastor could be removed from service and placed under judicial review. At that moment the bishop condemned them for not following correct protocol and having the issues presented at a church and quarterly conference. The bishop asked the presiding elder who oversees the pastor, and the elder refused to acknowledge this. When the members would not stop complaining the _____ were sent in to physically remove them.
How does he respond to the accusers? How does he respond to the accused?
He brings peace to the situation. Many times when we are caught off guard, corned even, rather than firing back, getting hot and screaming, or just passing the situation off we’ve got to bring a little peace. How?
Jesus just slows down, stops even- He scribbles something on the ground. People have been trying to say what He wrote for years. I don’t think that’s the point. I think the point is that he just paused.
When we can just throw a pause in the situation, we can: