February 2, 2024

Beside Still Waters: When you spit on the truth

Therese Apel

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. – Matthew 21:45-46

The church leaders at the time of Jesus were very much like some of our politicians, pundits and church leaders now: The truth didn’t matter.

They were always trying to catch Jesus breaking the letter of the law, and while their hearts knew what He was saying and who He was were both real, they wanted to silence Him. Why? Because acknowledging that the God of the Universe doesn’t follow their rules means they’re not worthy of the power and riches they’ve amassed.

In America today, it’s rare that facts matter to some groups of people. They’ll look at a situation and drive a false narrative even after that idea has been debunked. Even reporters: The job of the media was once to look at the facts and tell the truth. Now, most media outlets are serving fast food news. This is what they told us so it must be true. No double-checking the facts, no asking questions because they’re afraid of burning bridges with modern-day pharisees.

And you know what? The crowds follow. That’s how Jesus was crucified, because the crowds wanted a murderer released back to them because they were told that by the pharisees.

But Jesus was bigger, and He’s living proof that truth prevails.

I really think this world is in trouble, and the only way to protect yourself is to speak the truth, uphold the truth, and live the truth. Lives made of lies will meet with terrible fates when the truth comes, like sandcastles in the surf.

And if you hold a position that demands integrity, this chapter of Matthew shows that you are even more responsible for the times you spit on the truth.

Most of those pharisees were shamed and proven wrong because they chose the lies. If you’re doing that, you will be too.

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