Trampling the Courts

They themselves did not enter
the governor’s headquarters, so
that they would not be defiled….
John 18:28b

I just want to scream “Are they SERIOUS???” The men referred to here are “a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees” (v. 3). They are dragging Jesus to Caiaphas – a Gentile – on the eve of the Passover. They would be defiling themselves if they entered his headquarters. But the irony! How holy of them – the commands they pick and choose to obey, for the intensive purposes of having the appearance of good, when they are trying to find someone who will murder the Son of God for them!

It is kind of (on a grand scale) like what Isaiah wrote; “When you come to appear before Me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings..” (Isaiah 1:12, 13a) The offerings they (and I) present to the Lord are so useless when they are out of propotion to the rest of one’s life!

This is a struggle for me. The desire to look good on the outside – “to not defile myself”. For all outward appearances to be following God with my actions, but in my heart I am trampling God’s court with vain offerings. It is so easy to follow a list of do’s and do not’s, when what God requires of me is “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with (my) God.” (Micah 6:8) Oh! That I might seek Him, truly, with all my heart! That I might pursue Him, and seek to glorify Him, from the depths of my being! That I might remember, always, what is important to God – a changed heart.

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