Testify to the Truth…
The trial of Jesus before the chief priests continues:
Again the high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?”
Then Jesus answered, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.'”
At that the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as deserving to die. Some began to spit on him. They blindfolded him and struck him and said to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards greeted him with blows. -Mark 14:61-65, NAB
In yesterday’s verse (Mark 14:55-61), we learn the power of silence as Jesus remained silent against His false accusers (read more). Today, the trial continues, but Jesus decides to speak up this time.
What was different about the high priest’s question that inspired Jesus to answer him? Of course, I do not know the mind of Jesus, but it seems rather obvious. When Christ had false claims thrown against Him, He refused to answer. When they attacked Him with the truth, He would not deny it.
If Jesus had simply remained silent, there would have been no charges against Him. The chief priests were struggling to find witnesses that could come up with one, solid story. Christ’s admission in this verse, however, is better than any witness. With His testimony, which they saw as blasphemy, they had all they needed to persecute Him. So, why would He answer them? Because He would not deny the truth.
Has your faith ever been put on trial? Has someone ever attacked you for your beliefs? Even when we are not looking for a religious debate, some will seek us out because of what we believe. The question, then, is do we remain silent (like yesterday’s verse), or do we defend ourselves (like today’s verse)?
Employing Jesus’ tactics may be a perfect answer. If someone attacks you with wild, untrue claims about your faith, the Church, or even God, you do not have to answer. Yes, you may be able to change their minds in a healthy debate, but you are more likely to be stepping into a winless debate. However, if someone tries to slander you with the truth, answer without fear. Example:
Someone attacks your faith with all sorts of wild accusations – calling the Church a cult, saying that you’re a cannibal, and so on. You ignore them. Then, they ask you a straightforward question, such as “Do you really believe Jesus resurrected from the dead?” To which, you say a resounding, “Yes!”
Do not be afraid to say the truth, regardless of what others may think of you. The truth is the truth, and we are called to defend it. Christ was not afraid to defend the truth – knowing that it would cost Him His life. When you are called to testify to the truth, how will you respond?