Devotions

Quotes from the Pharisees: Are You Saying I’m Wrong? (Part 2)

In the previous article, we considered that sometimes we are wrong.  We saw how the Pharisees didn’t like to hear that they were wrong (“blind”), and I think that they especially didn’t like hearing that from Jesus.

I’m pretty sure that none of us like to hear that we are wrong.  I admire people who openly ask for feedback, so that they can improve themselves.  For the rest of us, our usual reactions may include denial, anger, arguing, or sadness.  (I try to find ways to improve myself, but it takes work to get honest, actionable guidance from others, and even that can be emotionally challenging to process.)

However, the reality is that sometimes we are wrong.  Think back to beliefs you held when you were younger (like those described in yesterday’s article) that were later shown to be incorrect.  Consider the choices you made in the past that proved to be the wrong ones (including those where you should have known better).  This is just a burden of our current, limited, sinful human condition: we’re not always going to be right.

To be clear, I’m not saying that everything you know is wrong.  Instead, I’m encouraging all of us (yes, including myself) to consider that we’re not the primary source of truth in this world.  Our statements and actions might be a little better than the “next guy” (whoever that is), but our opinions and beliefs are not the foundation of truth.

Instead, our only hope of being right (both in word and in deed) is to ensure that we are building our lives upon something that is known to be true.  In the tangible world, observed facts and measured quantities provide us with some knowledge.  However, to answer anything beyond what we can immediately verify, we need something greater than ourselves.  For those who have chosen to make Jesus the Savior and Lord of their lives, He is that Truth.  (For readers who have not come to that conclusion, your source of truth may vary, but I encourage you to take a look at Jesus’ teaching, as well as the historical evidence that shows how He backed up His claims with results, and consider those in your conclusions.)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/jhn.14.6.NLT

In order to build our lives upon Jesus (the Truth), we must learn who He is, understand His instructions (both from the Bible, and from the leading of the Holy Spirit), and be open-minded enough to let Him change the parts of our lives that aren’t yet right.  This takes discipline, study, and humility.  No one who is too proud to change can become perfectly correct.  Even Jesus (who was already perfect) was humble.

So, when you ask Jesus, “Am I the one who is wrong, here?”, and He says (lovingly), “Yes, you are, my child.”, don’t be like Judas (who was the one to betray Jesus), or the Pharisees here (at least, the ones who eventually got Jesus killed).  Don’t be stubborn and remain fixed in choices that don’t align with His perfect will.  Instead, accept Jesus’ feedback and take steps to change for the better.  Maybe He will ask you to change your behavior, or maybe He will ask you to change your mind about something you care about very much.  Regardless of what He asks you to do, though, remember that you will never get feedback that is so accurate, so loving, or so wise.

In a world where lies and truth can become so intermixed in conversations, the truth is always the truth.  May we draw so closely to the Truth (Jesus Christ), so that all that is shared from our lives is from Him.  We’re not the source of truth, but we can be purveyors of it.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Quotes from the Pharisees: Are You Saying I’m Wrong? (Part 2)”

  1. Yes, I like the phrase, “The truth is always the truth.” As I have been teaching some pastors and their wives in India (via Zoom) we have been working through the Old Testament book of Proverbs. To help them understand some important words in Proverbs (Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom) I gave them my definitions:
    Knowledge is gaining and remembering truthful facts.
    Understanding is valuing the truth and knowing how to apply the knowledge in life’s circumstances and choices.
    Wisdom is applying the truth in various circumstances with different people, various choices, and changing situations.
    The source of all three: God. Proverbs 2:6 and Proverbs 1:1-7

    Liked by 2 people

    1. FYI, your definitions here of Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom are a perfect fit for my Sunday School lesson tomorrow, which is about Solomon. I intend to quote you (giving you credit, of course) in my introduction!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad that my definitions were helpful. I created them after one of the students in India asked me to explain the differences between knowledge and understanding. I always appreciate a good question, because others have the same question (or don’t realize that they should have had the question.)

        Liked by 1 person

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