Our bible reference for today is some rather dramatic and provocative words from Jesus! He is talking to some Jewish religious leaders who think they have the inside track to truth and to God. Let’s listen! “42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
They thought they had God figured out and they thought they were following Him and then God shows up in Jesus and tells them that they are wrong! They are not following the true God… they are deceived!
Deception is our theme this week coming off of Sunday’s story of deception from the story of Jacob and Esau. Jesus is so helpful here because He reveals the source of “deception” – Satan – the Evil One – the Great Deceiver!
This is helpful! The issue of deception is an issue of spiritual warfare! Deception is so pervasive and powerful because there is power behind it… a mastermind pulling the strings doing what he does best…leading broken sinful people like you and me into deception and recruiting us to be deceivers! Satan had been successful recruiting the religious establishment of Jesus’ day into his army of deceived deceivers and he is still at it today!
I don’t want to be a deceived deceiver! Yesterday I made a quick trip to my Mom and Dad’s to help them out with a project for a few hours. I was supposed to bring a tool called a “crowbar”. I was running 30 minutes late when I left and then 20 minutes down the road I realized I forgot the crowbar. I turned around and went back. So now I am an additional 40 minutes late. I call Mom. She is cool. They aren’t going anywhere. Very gracious and besides that they know there son well…. and I know them well…. They will be gracious everytime!
What bothered me was my thought process! After I realized that I had to turn around I was somewhat relieved because now I had an excuse (forgetting the crowbar) for all of my tardiness. I thought about how I could tell the story in such a way to make me sound better, less delinquent, more the victim. Even though I knew grace is abundant… my parents aren’t ever upset at things like this… I still was tempted to lace my conversation with deceit to make myself look less bad or foolish.
Even though I am confident of grace from them… in that moment I was deceived into thinking maybe they would not be graceful and therefore I was open to being deceitful to make myself look better. I dipped my toe in the pool of deceived deceivers!
I am sorry Jesus! You are my only victory over this evil tendency I have! Thank you for being victorious of deception and the deceiver! I will trust you Jesus! I will pull off the highway of deception at the exit called Jesus! Amen