During the COVID-19 quarantine, Sue and I have been busy with home chores. For our break time, we watch the daily White House coronavirus press briefings. While the various reports from the medical professionals are interesting, we are amazed at the questions fired at President Trump by the representatives of the press.
Often, it is embarrassing to hear some of the questions they launch at the president. But he is not the first president to “battle” the press. Barack Obama categorized some of the questions he received as “destructive” to the country. Richard Nixon added some reporters to his famous “enemies list.”
Even President Harry Truman complained that presidents had been “slandered and misrepresented since George Washington.” It was President Thomas Jefferson who said, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.”
But WHAT IF it was Jesus conducting a news conference? Would He handle things differently? It may seem far-fetched to you, but there are similar circumstances in the New Testament.
Like the modern media, the Scribes and Pharisees peppered Jesus with “gotcha” questions. They were trying to trick Jesus with weaponized queries into saying something that would expose Him as a charlatan.
One day the wicked Pharisees asked Jesus about paying taxes (Mark 12:13). The Bible says that Jesus saw their hypocrisy and said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Later, the shrewd Sadducees asked Jesus about a widow who had outlived seven husbands: whose bride would she be in Heaven? (Matthew 22:23) Jesus called out their stunning ignorance of the Scriptures and said that there was no marriage in Heaven.
Sometimes, Jesus called these examiner's “blind guides and fools” (Matthew 23:16-17), or “whited sepulchers” (Matthew 23:27), or “vipers” (Matthew 23:33). On one occasion, after an onslaught of evil questions, Jesus responded with a scathing rebuttal by saying that their proselytes were, “as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)
But there is a glaring difference between Jesus, and the way our presidents and the press handle things in modern times. That difference is summed up in these words: Pure Truth. In the arena of humanity, pure truth is elusive. The lack of pure truth results in suspicion and mistrust among all factions.
But with Jesus, He is pure truth (John 14:6). As the Word of God is pure truth (Psalm 119:160), so Jesus is God’s Word in human flesh (John 1:14). Jesus came to earth to reveal pure truth and it upset all humanity (John 18:37). When the naysayers asked Jesus questions, their anger was stirred because Jesus spoke only pure truth.
Perhaps, our leaders and our media need to step back and follow the example of Christ in civic affairs. Wise people seek pure truth not self-aggrandizement or political advantage.
And pure truth can only be found in Christ! Will you agree with me in prayer?