“…For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:37b
There are days the President of the United States must feel like staying in bed. He may have felt that way if he read an article that was carried last week by U.S. News And World Report. The story, quoting Steven Kull, of WorldPublicOpinion.org said, “While U.S. leaders may frame the conflict (in Iraq) as a war on terrorism, people in the Islamic world clearly perceive the United States as being at war with Islam.”
It doesn’t make any difference how honorable our soldiers try to be or how respectful our ambassadors are of local customs. Eighty percent of the Egyptians, Indonesians, Moroccans, and Palestinians who were questioned want our bases removed, and our soldiers sent home. It doesn’t seem to make any difference how many times America’s leaders promise that we are trying to protect our country from terrorism; the majority of the Islamic people interviewed believe we are trying to export western culture and western values to their nations where there is little separation of church and state.
In short, they think we are liars, and none of our words or actions seem able to convince them otherwise.
Although no earthly leader can ever be compared with the heaven-sent Son of God, we are able to say that Jesus’ mission was also misinterpreted. He healed those who were sick in body and soul. He reached out to those whom society had rejected. He called sinners to repentance and forgiveness. He gave His life as a ransom so that all who believe on Him might be saved.
In spite of what He said and did, Jesus’ contemporaries thought He was a liar, a heretic, an insurrectionist, a blasphemer, a son-of-Satan. They congratulated themselves every time they thought they had countered God’s truth with their own opinions and fabrications. They refused to hear Him when He spoke of God’s love. They condemned Him when He didn’t play their way. They nailed Him to a cross and laughed as He died. Three days later, and ever since, they have denied His resurrection from the dead.
In spite of humankind’s refusal to believe God’s truth, Jesus did all that was necessary for our salvation. Why? He tells us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6b). Jesus was and is the Truth, so we might be saved. Believe it.
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, I give thanks that by the Spirit’s power, I have been given faith in You who alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May my life be lived in such a way that doubters and deniers may see Your truth reflected through me. In Your Name, Amen.