1 Maccabees!

1 Maccabees 5:63

The man Judas and his brothers were greatly honored in all Israel and among all the Gentiles, wherever their name was heard.

The moral of the story of the Maccabees is that they were great–but that they were also just men. The Maccabees were real heroes. Israel felt about them the way we felt about firemen after 9/11. Who could not admire their courage? What awesome greatness–and all completely genuine. No hype necessary. They were freedom fighters against a tyrannical foreign power that sought to subjugate the People of God to an alien culture and they fought back for their homes and family in the spirit of every husband and father who ever wanted to protect his precious family from danger. However, as time rolled on, the sons and grandsons of these heroes came face to face with a huge spiritual danger: they were good men and even great men–and they knew it. And so, in time, the children and grandchildren of the great Maccabaean Revolt became known as the Pharisees and their proud accomplishment became the seedbed of the sin of pride–and of the rejection of the Son of God. We are never more in spiritual danger than when we are really really right. It blinds us to the possibility that we could, in the wink of an eye, be really really wrong.

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