Matthew 28:15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
This little section of five verses, sandwiched between Jesus’ resurrection and the Great Commission, is often overlooked, but it is of great relevance to what we are experiencing today. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time such a thing happened, but it is an example of deliberate “fake news” from 2000 years ago. The devil is a liar, and those in his grip can’t stand the truth and do all they can to deny, hide, or at least confuse it. That has been very clear in the reaction to ultrasonic imaging giving us a clear picture of infants in the womb. Proponents of abortion can no longer claim that “it’s just a clump of cells,” and faced with the reality that it is indeed a baby, more and more people have recognized abortion for the murder that it is. Character assassination is rampant, and often the accusation, minus any real proof, is sufficient to do the job. As David said of someone back in his day, “You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.” (Psalm 52:3) Paul said of such people, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) That goes back to Jesus’ very blunt statement: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21) Those who love God and thus love the truth need to constantly be on guard against lies. That’s not the same as mistaken opinions; no one is perfect. However, deliberate lies are never to be accepted, and there is a battle over that raging all around us. There are so many lies being floated in so many areas of life that we must have the guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit to keep things straight, but if we ask, He will answer, (James 1:5) so we aren’t to be anxious.
I am discovering that this whole principle applies very close to home. People close to us will express well-meaning “realism,” not allowing for the grace and power of God, and so tear us down. The hard part of that is that they are motivated by genuine love. I am not to get angry – which is a real temptation – but rather submit every circumstance and every emotion to God. I don’t know the future, but they don’t either, and I am never to lose hope. My wife gets out of the hospital tomorrow, and the predictions of “how things are going to be” are disheartening to say the least. The devil loves to run negative scenarios through my brain! I am not to deny reality, but I am not to surrender to the negative. The issues at hand are practical in the extreme and have far-reaching consequences, but God’s plans are good and He is fully able to bring them to pass. Even now I am to rest, relax, and rejoice in Him whatever is being said to me, and I am to respond in truth and love.
Father, thank You for this very timely Word. I pray that throughout today I may be able to focus on each task at hand, being fully present and not preoccupied with what is around the corner, so that I won’t wound anyone with my words or actions, but be an effective instrument of Your grace, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!