Truth is spoken openly


                The high priest then asked Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine.  Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world.  I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet and have said nothing in secret” (John 18: 19-20.)


                Jesus was standing before the Jewish leaders who were seeking to find something in his teachings by which they could condemn him.  These Jewish leaders had heard all of his teachings in the temple.  In the first century, a rabbi would speak publicly so everyone had the opportunity to question him; in fact, the Jewish leaders had sent many people to question Jesus; they wanted him to incriminate himself so they could prove that he was not the messiah; yet every answer Jesus gave was perfect.  So the Jewish leaders arrested him and began to question him in secret.  He reminded them that he had never said anything in secret; the truth never needed to be kept secret; it needed to be proclaimed from the roof tops; a task that Jesus had flawlessly completed.

                Recently, a couple of people have been arrested for leaking all kinds of top secret communications to the public.  These communications include pleas to the United States to intervene militarily against a certain Muslim country.  When the information was made public, it caused a great deal of embarrassment and shame.  How does this relate to our personal lives?  How many times have we said something about someone we would not have said had they been present?  Gossiping is saying something in secret that you would not say publicly.  If you would not say something to a person’s face, don’t say it.  We have all been guilty of this offense.  The truth never needs to be spoken in secret; the truth can be proclaimed boldly for all to hear, without shame or embarrassment.

                Today as followers of Jesus Christ we should not gossip.  Everything we say should stand up to scrutiny.  If what we say cannot be printed on the front page of the news paper, should we say it at all?  No.  We need to speak the truth (God’s truth, not speculation or opinion) without regret.  [Sometimes the truth is not going to be nice.  We have heard our mothers say many times, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  However, Jesus was no pushover; he spoke out against many people who were evil; speaking the truth is not gossiping, if it is spoken in love.  All of our communications should be done in love; the truth can hurt a person, but may still need to be heard, because we care about those who must hear it.]  Speak openly, speak truthfully, and speak lovingly, and you will never be ashamed.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You would help us to speak every word openly, and to never gossip or speak out of hate, or out of contempt, but out of love.  We wish to speak just as You and Your Son Speak; by the power of Your Holy Spirit we ask that You make us speak only the truth, and only what You desire us to say.  Use our mouths in this place, to glorify You, and to bring Your truth to others.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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