Can Truth Trap Us?
Day: 27 | Plan: Luke
Today’s Reading: Luke 20
Luke 20:26 (NIV) “They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.”
Have you ever felt like someone tried to use your words against you? Used them out of context or misrepresented what you said or meant? Maybe your marriage is strained by he-said-she-said drama. Perhaps you have a boss or difficult co-worker who has twisted your words or intentions to punish you. Or has something you said on social media been edited or misinterpreted to indict your character or faith?
Jesus understands. In today’s passage (and throughout Jesus’ ministry) the Pharisees, chief priests and teachers of the Law were trying to use Jesus’ words against Him. They weren’t impartial judges searching for truth; they were prejudiced accusers setting a trap.
But their traps never work.
In Luke 20, the Pharisees question Jesus’ authority. They wonder where He gets the authority to do the works He does. This is such an interesting question. First, by their question, the Pharisees acknowledge they have been following Jesus’ ministry, watching what He had been doing and listening to what He had been teaching. Second, though they don’t know the source of His authority, the religious leaders acknowledge that Jesus acts and speaks with authority!
Jesus’ response turns their question on them, and the Pharisees realize they are trapped. Rather than offer an explanation, Jesus uses a question to reveal their malicious intent.
In other instances, the religious leaders try to trap Jesus by asking Him about paying taxes and marriage in heaven. (Talk about hot topics!) As Jesus responds to their questions, they are silenced and astonished.
The Pharisees were astonished and silenced by Jesus, but they didn’t stop trying to derail His ministry and silence Him. The truth didn’t make them friends. Jesus’ right response didn’t mend the relationship or win them over. You may have stood for truth, but found only controversy and contention for your efforts.
People don’t always receive the truth, do they? We probably won’t be celebrated for biblical thinking. We may not even be protected from others’ harsh responses to a Christian worldview. We may feel misrepresented and misunderstood. We may feel trapped, but it’s temporary. Because Jesus promises that truth, His truth, sets us free. (John 8:32)
When Jesus says the truth sets us free, it’s not from the difficult circumstances of this life. No. We are free to look beyond this life, its harassments and conflict to the hope of heaven. Standing for truth says that Jesus can be trusted with our feelings, reputation and relationships. And that’s truly freeing.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for truth that can be trusted. I lay my reputation and my relationships in Your safe and capable hands. I want to be a person who speaks truth even in the face of opposition. But I pray now for those in my life who need to hear truth. Would You give them and me a tenderness to hear truth rightly? In Jesus’ name, amen.
As you read these last few chapters of Luke, did you sense a change in the tone of the... Read More
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