But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead.
They secretly induced men to say, 'We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.' And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council... Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him.
But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren.
Mob mentality is a powerful and frightening force. Complaining mobs become angry mobs who become killing mobs. All it takes is an inspired speaker with a hateful message. Idle minds and empty hearts are easily won by salesmen. Selling what?
Racial supremacy, like Hitler's myth of Aryan pride. He said Jews were an inferior race: thieves, cheats and liars. So millions were killed in World War II, and the world looked away.
Religious prejudice, like God has made certain men masters. They believe He loves them exclusively, and others are wrong. As their self-righteousness grows, a trail of tears follows them.
Financial prejudice, like what you own determines your worth. Rich people complain among themselves: poor people are lazy. So they continue to accumulate while poverty kills.
Cultural prejudice, like you were born as higher life forms. Outsiders are lesser beings and totally unwelcome. If others try to rise, they're pushed down hard, again and again.
Sports fanaticism, like worshipping a team above all. Cheering fans become crazed mobs, destroying fields and people. Still others just sit on a bench, instead of rising to shine.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Complaining is contagious. It's a hot disease that spreads. If you stand amidst grumblers, remember you hold the Cure. Don't agree with their illness. Instead, speak in hopefulness. Speak in appreciation. Pour on the love of Jesus.
To Be Continued...
* Story of Stephen, the martyr, in Acts: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+6-7&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Complaining series.