I can’t see your motivations. I can see your actions and make an educated guess of your motivations, but the real reason you do something is not something I can directly observe.
God doesn’t share that limitation. He knows what and why people act. So in Luke 22:2, he tells us the reason that the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death.
They weren’t motivated by righteous indignation. They weren’t trying to protect the nation from heresy. It wasn’t exactly jealousy. Here’s what the Bible says: “they feared the people.”
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many of the people began to believe in him. Fear strikes again! The Sanhedrin said, “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (John 11:48).
Fear is powerful, but it often motivates us in the wrong directions. In Exodus 1, the Pharaoh’s fear of a hypothetical war in which the Israelites hypothetically joined up with the other side was enough to motivate the king to genocide. In the gospels, it was enough to motivate Pilate to knowingly execute an innocent man.
I suspect that far more of our decisions are motivated by fear than we realize. We are afraid of missing out, not having enough, being rejected…fear might just be one of the biggest temptations that we face. When I (or someone close to me) acts foolishly—I’m going to look for fear hiding in the background. If we deal with that fear, we might just find that we become w