Just Pay The Bribe
When Pastor Sammy and I arrived for the first session of the second day of our Truth Encounter Leadership Conference, Bishop Zack was not there. When I finished the first hour of teaching, he still wasn’t there. He arrived at the end of the last session as Pastor Sammy was giving the close. Because Zack was our host, Sammy turned the mike over to him, and he told us what had happened.
“Forgive me for my late arrival. Yesterday, we learned from God’s Word that leaders need to be servants, and today I had to serve the man I hired to drive pastors this week. (Most Kenyans don’t’ have cars and get from place to place on the back of motorcycles or hire drivers who have vehicles.) This morning my driver got pulled over by the police. He had all the right papers but not the right uniform. The police asked for a bribe. My driver didn’t want to pay. So they arrested him and put him in jail. He called, and when I arrived I stood before the judge. ‘I’m a Christian bishop. I oversee many pastors. We are having a conference this week at my church and this man was serving the Lord. I can’t pay you what you are asking.’ Five minutes went by, then ten. Finally the judge came to a decision, ‘Your driver is free to go.’”
When Zach shared this news, the auditorium exploded with applause to the Lord.
As I read Luke 11:42-45, I praised the Lord. Unlike the majority of first century Pharisees, Zach is a present day religious leader who pays attention to the little religious duties but doesn’t neglect the more important things—God’s justice and God’s love.
“’Woe to you Pharisees, because you tithe your mint, rue, and all kinds of garden herbs but then you neglect the justice and the love of God. Tithing the little things—it’s necessary, but you can’t neglect the weightier things.
Woe to you Pharisees because you love the best seats in the synagogue and the greetings in the marketplace.
Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves. People walk over them and they don’t even know.’
An expert in the Law said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, these things you are saying. They are insulting us.’” Luke 11:42-45
LORD, thanks for the fact that Zach acted in justice and love and that you set his driver free. Thank you for a Kenyan judge who chose to honor You and do the right loving thing. May Your Holy Spirit use the hours of teaching on the character that You look for in a spiritual leader to raise up a host of Kenyan pastors and believers who will be used to generate a movement of justice and love because Kenyans see these realities fleshed out in the lives of the believers. Guide my teaching to generate life and not the death that the teaching of the Pharisees produced in those who heard them.
Note: In pop culture Jesus is presented as the promoter of “Love Wins,” a gentle guru who smiles upon all. Read Luke 11:46-54 and check out how the real Jesus responded to a legal religious expert who said Jesus had insulted him.
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