By Dr. Harold Phillips
It would be nice to be able to ask Jesus how to handle the conflicts that face us in our world today. But, in a sense, He already has told us. He has given us so many examples in the Gospels to inform our decisions.
Mary bore Jesus in the midst of conflict and danger and He spent His whole time on earth enduring oppression and opposition. He had but a few years when there was not some kind of struggle around Him and even then, Roman oppression was overrunning His country.
When we examine His life, we must understand that Jesus made it very clear that the greatest of all weapons to deal with conflict was and is truth. The battle between the truth and lies has always gone on day after day as long as sin has plagued this world. Jesus made it perfectly clear that truth produces freedom and life and lies produce darkness and death.
In John 8, when faced with conflict in the streets, Jesus told the listeners that they could not hear Him because they were listening to their father, the Devil. The Devil is the father of lies. It is in the Devil’s DNA to murder and to lie. Jesus said that when the Devil is talking, he is lying. It is amazing, but it seems that all the problems that are in the world have their origins in the Devil’s lies. And so, this is true even today!
Jesus said that the truth was the source of life and freedom and that the truth was founded in His Word. When Jesus addressed the struggles surrounding Him in the streets, He continued to declare truths from above to combat the lies from beneath. Even when those who were listening did not want to hear the truth, He would state the truth. The only thing that gives life and freedom is the truth.
When we read about the many encounters that Jesus had, it is clear that He would not allow lies to carry the conversation. He always proclaimed the truths that produced life. In every encounter, He went back to the truth. Even while questioned by Pontius Pilate, Jesus said that one of the main reasons for His coming was to bear witness to the truth!
In Luke 8, we see Jesus encounter a mob after He had forgiven the sins of the woman who washed His feet with oil. And after addressing them, we see that he went right back to the business of proclaiming the truths of the Kingdom. Luke 8:1 says, “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God” (KJV).
May we, as His representatives, always be truth-tellers. It is always the answer to state the truth about what is going to impact eternity. Everything else will pass away but the Kingdom of God will be forever. We must not get caught up in this world’s weeds; we must be about Kingdom business. When we are about Kingdom business, we are about eternal business.
Lord Jesus, guide our attitudes and our actions as well as our words. May we speak the truth and plant seeds of freedom in every conflict, situation, and decision.