When Jesus goes silent…
In our world where evil thoughts and false ideologies are arrogantly and boldly displayed daily at work, in the media, in our families among the lost, and infiltrates a group of imperfect people God calls His church, we wonder what answer to give to all the false accusations, the sarcasm and mocking brought about by selfish lives lived out with selfish motives. God and His Ways are set aside or at best, manipulated for self-produced power and control. God is not political. God is God. He is Truth. Some choose Truth. Some do not.
This isn’t a new “thing” we wrestle and battle daily. Evil’s tricks, manipulations of people, with schemes to destroy God’s people and their families with lies and deception isn’t new. It began with Adam and Eve. At some point in our lives, we have been deceived. Some see the deceit and come back to Truth. Some do not.
This battle for Truth wasn’t suddenly caused by COVID, wars or rumors of wars, or sudden uprisings. We can blame no one but ourselves. Jesus taught that there would always be the poor among us, there would always be disagreements, there would always be lost people and there would always be decisions to be made for Him or against Him. His answer was to the put God first, be Love as He is Love, and then do what God says. In Jesus’ three years of ministry He always went to God first, got His direction and words from God, before doing anything of significance in His mission given by God to “seek and to save” the world God loved. So, I stop to ask myself, how are we any more important in God’s work than to be with God and ask for God’s direction before doing anything in His Kingdom work? Sobering, right? We are famous for praying, “God, bless my/our plans”, when instead we should be asking, “God, what do YOU want and what do you want me to do, if anything, to accomplish your purpose?”
Jesus previously told His disciples, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24
So, our situation isn’t new. Evil was not orchestrated by God to test our faith. Evil just is and always will be used to build our faith if we believe and stay strong and firm with God’s ever-present Holy Spirit helping us. We will be mocked for believing in Jesus. Sarcastic remarks will be made to make us feel less valuable in the eyes of the world when we say no to what is not God’s will for us. These moments will be weird and awkward for the moment. But, stop and think, who are we trying to please, honor and praise and live for? Who will save us? Who will be with us forever? Whose love never changes and is unconditional? Not the world, only God.
So, what is our answer? Our lives. Our daily walk will speak louder than any words we can ever utter. Jesus needs NO defense in what will be accomplished. HE is our Victor now. He will proclaim victory when He comes for us! So, no matter what is happening around us, we continue to love like Jesus. We will suffer heartache at decisions made by loved ones who are lost, but we will continue to love. When they hurt us with words, rolled eyes and sneers, we will never stop loving them. This is our answer. It is our only answer. What echoes in my mind as I worked on this line of thinking is what Jesus said on the cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” This is the Love we are told to freely give because God freely gave His love to us through His Son, Jesus. “Freely you have received, free give.” Matthew 10:8
The gospel of Matthew written as a witness and solely inspired by God has taught us Truth. Now we must live what we say we believe.
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
Jesus, His body the “temple of God” will indeed be torn down by the religious elite who will lie to the Roman government. HOWEVER, Jesus, Son of God, will defeat evil’s plot planted in the minds of mere men to destroy Him. He will go down to the residence of the evil one and defeat him at his own game. He will rise from death a Victor over all sin! He will rise to life forever! Jesus is alive today and alive forevermore. Jesus sits at the right hand of God, Our Father, as our advocate for eternity to all who believe. Jesus, Our Savior. Jesus, Our Lord.
FIND and FOLLOW Jesus. He is Truth.
Help us to love like you love. Help us to live in peace with Your Spirit of Truth permeating our being. Cleanse our hearts. Remove anything, any thinking, that offends you and not part of who you are. Then show us what your will is for each of us this day. Protect and guide us. Lead and direct our thinking and behaving. Tell us when to speak and when to be silent. Help us to walk in your ways. To you be all glory!
In Jesus Name, Amen