Tuesday, May 22, 2007

OPEN TO THE TRUTH

"Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said." - Mt. 22:15
You know how people do not like to be criticized. They do not like to be told their faults and flaws. It makes them feel small, weak,or vulnerable. Or they feel exposed and "outed" because what they have worked so hard to conceal about themselves is now revealed. This is sometimes because of pride or sometimes it is because of hatred of the truth. Regardless, Jesus made a habit of publicly rebuking the Pharisees, Saddduccees, Scribes, Lawyers and other false teachers. And He was, so to speak, getting on their nerves. A better man would have listened to Jesus, but these were not better men. So in Matthew 22, when He told a parable about their lack of respect for God, which they understood by the way (Mt. 13:13), it placed them on the defensive. And it says they "plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said." They plotted how to make Jesus look smaller in the eyes of the people by getting Him to falter in His words. These people, one by one, came to Him with calculated questions with hopes of exposing a weakness in Him. But they found none. With each question they raised, Jesus responded with such wisdom that left them speechless. A better man would have repented, but these were not better men. Being exposed by Jesus led them to plot how to kill Him.

This lesson from Jesus Christ reminds us to be open to the truth. It reminds us that pride and arrogance can hinder us from hearing the truth and finding God. If you are a good-hearted person who sincerely wants to know the truth, then do not run from criticism. And do not fear being accountable to others. God still exalts the humble, and He still humiliates the prideful. Let us all resist the temptation to attack and silence others when confronted by with our sin. Instead, listen for the truth in what they say and it will help you to be a godly person. Being open to the truth means acknowledging that "There is no thing hidden from the eyes of God, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." - Heb. 4:13.

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