READ : Matthew 26:59-64
Many false witnesses came forward. (v. 60)
A pastor accused of misconduct had to submit to an ecclesiastical trial. He was an old man in poor health, and the trial was an excruciating ordeal. He was never the same after that. He was a broken man. Only later did it come to light that the chief witness against him had given false testimony.
Has anyone ever said things about you that weren’t true? Someone slandered you, or yanked your words out of context, making it sound like you’d said something that you hadn’t said? What a painful experience.
I always feel a twinge of sadness when I read in the Gospels that “many false witnesses came forward” to testify against Jesus at his trial before Caiaphas. They lied about Jesus. They intentionally misquoted him. He who was the very truth of God had to endure the lies of sinful men.
The ninth commandment says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Deut. 5:20). Ephesians restates the commandment positively: “Therefore, having put away all falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor” (4:25). Speak the truth – continuously, constantly, habitually. Not only in court, but everywhere and every day. And truth is more than simply the agreement of words with facts. Factually truthful statements can at times be mean, selfish, and hurtful. The truth that Ephesians calls for is upbuilding, healing, and redeeming. Lies hurt. Truth heals. Put away falsehood. Speak the truth.
Lord, help me always to speak the truth. Amen.