Mob Mentality

I was just sitting here doing my daily Bible study when something hit me that I thought I should share.  I was reading in the book of Luke.

Luke 23:1-12
 
Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”
 
So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
 
Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
 
Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”
 
Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”
 
“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.
 
Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

Just go with me here because this is probably something that isn’t in the norm to get from this passage, but it really jumped out at me.

Pilate wasn’t concerned with Jesus.  He found nothing wrong there.  Now, we all know that Scripture had to be fulfilled and Jesus had to be crucified, but I find it interesting how this event came about.  I find it interesting that we read about how Pilate found nothing wrong with Jesus and then sent him over to Herod because it was Herod who had jurisdiction over Galilee.

Then we learn that Herod was almost having what I like to call a “fangirl” moment over Jesus.  He was excited!  Jesus had a serious reputation and Herod wanted to see some of the miracles he had heard about.  It’s like when your favorite singer comes to town and you want to go the concert.  Herod got front row tickets and he didn’t even have to pay for them.  He was stoked!

But Jesus wouldn’t give Herod what he wanted.  In fact, Jesus didn’t give anyone anything.  He refused to answer anything they asked.  Jesus wasn’t there for autographs, if you know what I mean.

So Herod was annoyed.  He sent Jesus back to Pilate.

And this is what really struck me.  Verse 13, written in parenthesis, says “Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.”

Why do you suppose the Lord wanted that included in this story?

After that, the chapter goes on to tell about how Pilate and Herod had both come to the same conclusion that there was nothing wrong, but the people wanted Jesus crucified so, long story short, he was.

But they became friends that day…

That day, having been surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than to see Jesus dead, Pilate and Herod became friends.  In the midst of the yelling, the arguing, the insults, and all the sinful behavior… they buddied up.

Perhaps they found their common ground in not understanding why the Jewish people were so bent out of shape.  Or, perhaps somewhere in the middle of the ridicule of Jesus and the mocking of him (think about how Herod and his people put that robe on Jesus) they banded together… a common cause… a common reason to be cruel?

I submit that mob mentality hit not only the Jewish people, but it also hit Herod and Pilate.  The fact that they suddenly became friends is no different from people today.

Think about it.  We are living in a day and age where we see/read people’s thoughts almost instantaneously.  It used to be that we didn’t really concern ourselves with every thought of every person, but now those thoughts are front and center.  And when someone we normally disagree with suddenly writes or says something about another individual, no matter who it seems to hurt, we jump right on in the conversation and that person we disagreed with suddenly becomes our best friend.

Together, we “crucify” the other party.

Why?

Why did Herod and Pilate suddenly team up?

I know it had to happen.  But why did God choose to put this particular point in His Word?  What lesson do we gain?

Could it be that our Creator wants us to think before we jump on the next bandwagon?

Could it be that He wants us to consider just which group we lend our voice to?

Perhaps our Lord envisioned the chaos of the Internet age and knew I would read that statement and think twice before joining in the latest social media outrage… You never know.

All I know for sure at this point is the God wanted us to read that.  It has importance.

We are living in a time where mob mentality is more prevalent than ever.  I think it’s possible we can learn from that one sudden friendship just how quickly hate can spread.  When we listen to everyone around us, the yelling and the arguing and drama, we cut off the communication that matters.  Even if Jesus had answered Herod’s questions, it wouldn’t have been heard.  The priests and religious leaders were all standing there “shouting their accusations.”  The only voice being heard at that moment was the voice of sin.

Thank God for Jesus.  He conquered sin.

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