28th August 2022

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

Have you ever been deceived with the truth?

It’s much harder to fall for an outright lie, but if a little truth is mixed in—a fact here and a fact there—great deceptions can occur. Perhaps that is the reason taking an oath in court requires you to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” It just takes a kernel of deceit planted in a bed of truth to produce a crop of lies.

This has been the devil’s favorite tactic since the Garden of Eden. There he planted a seed of doubt in the ears of the first two humans to deceive them into believing God was not for them.

And he is still up to his old tricks today. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when we hear half-truths and distorted truths that tempt us to believe complete lies.

But, we should always remember that the devil’s cunning attacks were exposed and exhausted on the battlefield when he came face to face with Jesus. Jesus did not fall for the devil’s half-baked truths aimed at creating doubt and confusion. The devil took three swings at Jesus in the desert using his tactics of deceit but in the end, he struck out and was sent away defeated.

One of those nasty temptations was aimed to get Jesus to avoid the cross by doing things the world’s way rather than following the will of his Father. The devil mixed in a little truth by quoting Psalm 91 in his attempt to deceive Jesus. It reads:

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:11-12 NRSV)

Using this scripture out of context, the devil tried to tempt Jesus to avoid suffering and death rather than to obey his Father. Ironically, the very next verse of this passage prophetically speaks of what will be accomplished by Jesus going to the cross. The devil shrewdly left out verse 13 which says:

You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. (Psalm 91:13 NRSV)

The devil must have forgotten that Jesus knew his scriptures. In addition, Jesus knew his Father. The devil couldn’t place a seed of doubt in that eternal truth. We need to remember this as we face the devil’s schemes in our own lives.

We can trust that Jesus holds us up in his victory, that he secured in his suffering and death on the cross. It was there that the devil and his lies were trampled underfoot. You and I can walk in the freedom of trusting the Father’s Word in Jesus, who is the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

Presented by Greg Williams

About the presenter:

Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA. Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International

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