Sunday, 23 May 2010

Accused,identified and undone

If I may be permitted ever such a slight bit of poetic licence there are 3 statements in scripture in which the truth, spoken by others, causes the people involved to have to make a split second decision and declare where they stand in relation to the truth.
In 2 Sam 12 there is the powerful assertion by Nathan the prophet to David: 'You are that man'. This is surely one of the most powerful and devastating 'punch lines' ever spoken. It causes David to have to make a decision about where he stands, and the realisation of his shortcomings revealed by this word of truth leads to immediate and profound repentance.

Next, in John, there is the 'I am that man' on the lips of Jesus when asked by Pilot if He was really the 'king'. This brought from Jesus an immediate acknowledgement from Jesus regarding His relationship to the truth in which He accepted the will of God and whatever that may mean.
Finally,also in John, there are those fateful words from Peter when recognised and asked if he was one of the men who were friends with Jesus. 'I am not that man' was his responses - a denial that attempted to avoid the (probably painful) implications of the truth. But the truth gnawed away at him and he entered a wasteland of guilt.
Three responses to the truth:
'You are that man', followed by Acceptance and repentance
'Are you the king?', followed by Acknowledgement and obedience
'Weren't you with Jesus?' , followed by Avoidance and guilt.
What is our track record when confronted by, and having to make a public response to, the truth? I have a rather patchy history, but we're working on it.

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