Devotional Reading: Luke 23: 44-56a
Text: Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, 51had not agreed to their plan and action. (vs. 50-51a)
“Good and righteous”. The words stopped me cold. That is what happens when you read a passage “devotionally”. I pondered those three words for several minutes, mulling them over in my mind and considering my own life and decisions.
Then I read further and saw that Joseph did not agree with “their plan and action.” He went against the crowd! He didn’t “go along to get along”. And what is even more amazing is that he didn’t make a big deal about it. He simply went and did the right thing.
His example reminds me of a biography I read of the Quaker abolitionist, John Woolman. He was a quiet man, a tailor by trade. He was also widely travelled and a welcomed guest in the homes of all he met. He was recognized as a man of impeccable character. One time he was invited into the home of a slaveowner. Seeing the slaves in the role of “finely tailored servants”, he didn’t make a big scene. He just quietly left, totally unnoticed. When the host realized that Woolman was gone, he felt a deep sense of shame for having offended such a great man. It was said that Woolman was more effective in abolishing slavery in New England than any law because he changed hearts and minds.
Joseph of Arimathea did the right thing, even though it was not the popular thing. I hope that I get better at doing that. How about you?
Lord, help me to recognize and do the right thing, even if it is the unpopular thing. Remind me that I serve the Master and am called to do His will. Amen.