Thursday, September 26, 2013

Prevailing Shouts - By Sammy Millar

One of my most memorable wedding gifts was the megaphone I was given by my church family. I say “I” was given, because, it really was for me, (and they did apologise to Brenton for it) apparently they just couldn’t resist … much to my delight. It was a bit of a joke … because anyone who knows me, knows the LAST thing I need is a megaphone. At our wedding, I tried to use the megaphone for my speech during the reception, but no one could take me seriously (no idea why) so I resorted to the microphone. The truth is I liked to be heard.

But no one could take me seriously (no idea why) so I resorted to the microphone. The truth is I liked to be heard.

Don’t we all?

Some of us find making ourselves heard a little easier than others.

One group in the bible, who didn’t struggle in making their voices heard, was the Jewish high priests and leaders at the trial of Jesus before Pilate.

 “Their shouts prevailed” Luke 23:23 (NIV)

These three words struck me when I read them a few months ago. It was like I was reading them for the first time, and it seemed as though God was SHOUTING them to me. “THEIR SHOUTS PREVAILED!!!” A number of personal questions came to mind.

“What am I shouting about?" 

“Where are my shouts prevailing?”

“Where is my voice being heard?”

I was incredibly challenged!

How did the shouts of the Jewish high priest and leaders prevail?

They were prepared. Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.” Matthew 26:3-4 (NIV) They were prepared. They had a plan in place, they’d had meetings, talked about it, rallied the troops and took it to the appropriate authorities to present their case.

They were persistent But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” Luke 23:5 (NIV)

The more opposition, or resistance they encountered from Pilate the louder they got, and the stronger they got. They didn’t let his opposition hold them back. They weren’t going to take no for an answer.

They were passionate. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.”Luke 23:10 They totally believed in what they were shouting about, they were dedicated and committed to it. They were fervent, the atmosphere must have been heated and intense.[1]

They were united. With one voice the crowd cried out, “Kill this man! Give Barabbas to us!” Luke 23:18  They had a united voice and there is power in unity.

The Jews had an effective group, with an effective strategy: preparation, passion, persistence, and unity so … their shouts prevailed.

BUT … while we can learn from their strategy, we have to acknowledge that their motive and purpose was tainted. They were shouting for injustice. They were shouting to have an innocent man killed, there was nothing honourable about that. Yes, they were passionate, they truly believed in what they were shouting for, (so much so that as Jesus hung on the Cross near death he prayed “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”) but their cause was lacking.
As followers of Jesus, our cause is justice, as was his. God is a God of justice, and injustice breaks his heart, Jesus has experienced it himself. He knows what it’s like.

When we shout, when we desire for our voices, our shouts to prevail, let them be for justice. We don’t have to look far before the injustices around us become apparent, the world is swimming in injustice; domestic violence, addictions, discrimination, inequality, child poverty, poverty to name a few. If you lack passion, and have a desire for justice pray to the Lord: “Break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for your kingdoms cause.” But be warned, God will answer your prayer.

For those who can’t speak up, who haven’t discovered their voice yet, for those who struggle to make their voice heard, raise your voice on their behalf.

We shout for Justice! And we will prevail when we shout with preparation, passion, perseverance and unity.

There’s a megaphone inside all of us, a shout longing to prevail. Raise your voice.

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