Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead and many people came to believe in Him. When faced with the growing popularity of Jesus, the religious establishment of His day imagined the worst possible outcome for their power and position. What would they do? They would do the expedient thing, the pragmatic thing, and they would make sure that Jesus died so that they would not.
Expedient Pragmatism – it’s what got Jesus Christ arrested and crucified. And it’s killing the church. From politics to “church growth” to situational ethics, pragmatism tells us that truth is determined by the outcome of our choices. “If it works out well, it must have been right!”
But God has told us what is true and right. And it is true and right based on His character as God, not on the real or imagined outcome of our choices.
In addition, we worship and serve a sovereign God who ordains the very worst so He can accomplish the very best.
This morning we find in one short story the most evil act of pragmatism ever perpetrated and the most sovereign act of grace, all in the same words and choices!