The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time had seen the miracles he performed and heard him teach the truth with an authority like none they had ever seen. They had argued with him and found him to be a man of integrity.
Then they heard that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This should have been good news to them, but they didn’t respond as if it was. Instead of humbly giving their allegiance to Jesus, they became jealous.
These men had a decision to make. They could choose to acknowledge who Jesus was and worship him, or they could choose to allow their hearts to become corrupted with thoughts of murder. They chose corruption.
It has often been said that we make our decisions, and our decisions make us. We either become stronger and more focused, or we become corrupt.
A telling picture of this principle was seen in a Sports Illustrated article several years ago. A survey of 198 Olympic sprinters, swimmers, power lifters, and other athletes were ask to respond to the following scenarios:
You are offered a banned performance enhancing substance, with two guarantees: 1) You will not be caught. 2) You will win. Would you take the substance? One hundred and ninety-five athletes said “yes;” three said “no.”
Scenario II: You are offered a banned performance-enhancing substance that comes with two guarantees: 1) You will not be caught. 2) You will win every competition you enter for the next five years, and then you will die from the side effects of the substance. Would you take it? More than half of the athletes said “yes!”
How about you? What will you do to ensure success? Acceptance? Notoriety? Popularity? What are your decisions…your soft choices revealing about your character…your destiny.
I have learned that making the “hard choices” in the short-term lead to great comfort and blessing in the long-run. I have also experienced the truth that “easy choices” in the short-term lead to great hardship and suffering in the long-run.
Our decisions can leave a legacy of enabling, ennobling power that affect our generation and generations to come. I choose Jesus…how about you?