Scene three, now we have reached the High Priest’s house in the middle of the night, a quorum of priests are present, witnesses, guards (and Peter and possibly Judas) plus others. I can hear Sargent Friday saying, “I want the facts, nothing but the facts!” but witnesses could not agree. Mark 14:57 shares, “Some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, ‘We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” Did you catch the edit job? Yesterday we heard in our Gospel text Jesus say, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days. (John 2:19)” The witnesses have changed Jesus’ words just slightly and inadvertently spoken a truth. Jesus did not say he would raise another temple not made with hands, but indeed that is what happened, as we in retrospect understand that we now talk about our bodies being the temple of God and the church universal as representing God. It reminds me of Satan and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Did God say don’t eat? Eve answers yes but adds, “for the day you eat of the tree you will die.” How easy it is to modify, amplify, exaggerate truth a little and create a better, more entertaining story, or give the impression to the facts that shifts the story the way you understand. We have created the word “misinformation” that seems to imply a person is telling a slanted version of truth to their own advantage and that version does not agree with the commentators version of truth.
Jesus was not talking about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem but predicting his own death. Jesus was talking about rising from the dead in three days. The true meaning was not understood. The High Priest then asks, “Are you the Christ?” and Jesus answers, “I AM.” Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He does not lie or misinform. As we journey with Jesus to the cross this Lent, let us reflect on our tendency to “misinform” or present reality to our advantage. God’s word is “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)” It will always lead us in the right direction as we wait on God in prayer and double check with others. May we grow in our ability to speak the truth in love and be a reliable witness. Lord, help me guard my tongue today and be an honest witness.