False Witnesses

I was reading my Bible this morning when I came across these verses (Matthew 26:59-60):

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.

When I’ve read this before, I’ve always dwelt on Jesus’ sinless nature, and how there wasn’t any real evidence so they had to invent something deserving of the death penalty. This morning, what caught my eye were the false witnesses.

I wondered… who were these witnesses? Did the Sanhedrin go looking for people to lie on their behalf? What would cause a person to testify falsely? Was there money involved? And in this case, they weren’t just lying. They were lying about God! We, of course, would never do such a thing!

Would we?

What does it mean to witness falsely against Jesus? Is it putting words in His mouth—words He would never say? Doing things He would never do? Failing to act when He would have loved?

When I see various “Christian” groups holding hate-filled signs, or church websites proclaiming God Hates Fags, or pastors preaching that the government should put gays to death or that parents have the authority to abuse potentially gay children, I think of false witnesses.

When I read about priests molesting children, church leaders having affairs, or when my own (ex-)pastor admitted to hiring a male prostitute and buying illegal drugs, surely those people were acting as false witnesses.

But what about times when I, an “ambassador of Christ,” fail to feed the hungry, tend the sick, and help those in need? What about times when I snap at my husband, or say something unkind about someone, or insist on having my own way, or… the list is endless. I’m a false witness, too.

I’m supposed to be a Christ-bearer, but so many times I fall short. The only way I can truly represent Jesus is when I allow the Holy Spirit to empower me. When I relinquish control and let Him live His life through me, people will finally get a taste of who God really is.

What have evidence have false witnesses tried to show you about Jesus?

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