If you have ever been a fan of The Andy Griffith Show then you are familiar with the phrase used often by the overzealous Deputy Barney Fife. “Andy,” he would say, “we need to NIP IT IN THE BUD! Nip it! Nip it! NIP IT!”
Sheriff Andy Taylor would do his best to calm Barney down. He would urge him to just wait a bit longer, but Barney was always anxious to jump in to take care of the slightest issue that he just knew would become a bigger problem. In the end, Barney’s eagerness led to his overstepping boundaries and causing much bigger problems than he could have imagined. Of course, in the make-believe world of Mayberry, Barney’s antics were totally relatable and quite humorous!
Barney is the person who came to mind while I studied the word expedient in our key verse for today.
Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. John 18:14
According to the Webster's 1828 Dictionary, expedient means literally, hastening; urging forward.
This verse is referring to an incident we find in John 11:50. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. This amazing miracle caused many Jews to believe on Him. (John 11:45) And somehow this became a problem for the religious leaders rather than a cause for great joy. Caiaphas, the high priest, felt it was expedient to nip it in the bud! (See Day 67: A Call to Lose)
On this day, Caiaphas’ plan had become reality. Jesus had been arrested. God in His foreknowledge knew who would be high priest that year. God knew how Caiaphas would react to many Jews believing on Jesus.
But like Caiaphas and like Barney, I have found myself feeling overly anxious to nip a problem in the bud. When motivated by fear and anxiety, I face great temptation to take matters into my own hands. Somehow Satan makes responding quickly to our own fear look attractive to us.
But at what cost? Who will be destroyed while I hurry up to take care of an issue that should be left in the hands of God? What brother or sister in Christ will I offend with my hasty words and actions? What lost soul will be given one more reason to resist the call of Christ?
What do we most often accomplish when we are hasty? Making ourselves look foolish.
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Proverbs 29:20
There is always a cost when we are so hasty to resolve a matter that we overstep God-given boundaries. Hurry it up and you will lose.
If we must be hasty, let us make haste to turn from our own way to keeping and trusting God’s way.
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. Psalm 119:59-60
Loser Bible Study Series Theme Verse:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated die in John 18:14, our verse for today.