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Daily Reading: 5th February 2015

John 11.45-46 cont.

45 Then many of the Jews who were coming to Mary, saw what He did and they believed in Him.

46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

There are a number of words used to describe those who tell tales about other people. They are sometimes called a grass, or a snitch. At other times they may be called an informant or someone who tells tales out of school.

Amongst the crowds who witnessed Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead were those who appear to have been eager to let the Pharisees know about those starting to believe in Jesus.

Their purpose would not have been with good intent. They would have known that the Pharisees had been longing to seek some opportunity to legitimately arrest Jesus and so dispose of Him.

Throughout the history of the church there have been many informants who have betrayed those who have been loyal to Jesus. This was especially true during the Inquisition, which lasted from the twelfth century until the nineteenth century. It was particularly bad in England during the reign of Queen Mary the first, who reigned from January 1556 to November 1558. Over 250 protestants were burnt at the stake on the say so of informants.

Jesus prophesied that there would be those who would betray His followers: [9] “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because of your allegiance to Me. [10] And many will turn away from Me and betray and hate each other” – Matthew 24.9-10 (NLT). Therefore, it should be no surprise that believers in Jesus are betrayed.

The most famous informant was Judas, who went to the Jewish authorities to inform them where they arrest Jesus. As we know he was paid thirty pieces of silver for being a grass.

There are many followers of Jesus who live with the real possibility of informants telling the authorities that they are Christians. This carries with it the threat of imprisonment, persecution, and even death.

Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living under the fear of being the subject of informants telling those who oppose them that they are followers of Jesus. Pray for their protection and that Jesus will encourage them in their times testing.

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