What do you do when someone says something to you or about you which you know to be untrue? What do you do when a rumour is spread behind your back which is false?
It cuts right to the core of who you are, doesn’t it? False witnessing can threaten your whole reputation, destroy your credibility and even sow seeds of doubt in your own mind.
Careers can be destroyed by lies since, in the working world, reputation is paramount. The higher your profile the greater your risk simply because more people will have an opinion on who you are and what you do.
The more influential the accuser the more difficult the lie will be to deal with and, of course, the more complex the accusation the trickier it will be to respond.
In addition, in human affairs, the false witness may contain some justifiable criticism along with the context of falsehood.
If you protest too much, others can suspect you of a cover-up under the heading “no smoke without fire”.
During the trials of the Son of Man several false statements were made about him. First, he was accused of opposing the payment of taxes to Caesar, second, he was accused of inciting rebellion, and third, that he would destroy the temple. In addition, they accused him of claiming to be a king, Son of God and Messiah.
How did the Son of Man keep his shape in the face of these accusations? Go back to his own teachings and you will find two relevant statements that will help you. First, in his famous Sermon on the Mount he urged “let your yes be yes and your no, no”. Second, he explained to Phillip his friend, “I am the truth”.
He did not bend, break or waiver in the face of his accusers. He told the truth because he is the truth.
You will see that he invited his judges to remember his record, he had not hidden, his messages were public and consistent. “Ask those who heard me”, he said.
To Pilate, the Roman Governor, he answered the question but forced him to think about the truth. To Herod, the puppet king, he said nothing because his silence was the truth or rebuke.
Three different approaches, look at my record it speaks for itself, challenging his accuser to think, and lastly, silence.
In all of these moments the Son of Man stayed true to himself, even though it would cost him. In the end his accusers combined to condemn him, but they couldn’t see what would happen three days later.
37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
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