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The evil of false witness

Rev. Enoch Thompson | September 19, 2023 | Matthew 26:59-63a


The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Matthew 26:59-60 (NIV)


The betrayal, arrest, mistrial, condemnation, and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is a narrative that stirs any conscience that is alive, no matter how many times one has read the Bible. But the section for our reflection today sends shivers down the spine, to see that the custodians of religion, “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.” No, read it well; they were not looking for evidence to support their already formed decision to kill the sinless Son of God, they were looking for false evidence.

They had decided how this whole challenge to their hypocrisy, position and misguided leadership by Jesus of Nazareth should end; He must be killed! All that was needed was some reason, it did not need to be true, if only it could be packaged nicely, then it could be pasted onto Him, and they would have more than enough reason to get Him killed.

It is awful when we pass judgment on people without evidence, when because of personal hatred we fabricate lies against other people, especially because they are godly and holy and disciplined, and we may not be so. Because their light shows the darkness in our hearts and our ways.

Maybe you are at the receiving end of the evil of being blackmailed, by evil people attempting to soil your good name because they see you as a threat. It hurts badly when falsehoods are trumped up to destroy the good name you have earned. This is most painful when it happens in the context of the Church.


Do not be surprised that human beings have not changed very much from those we read about in our text. Pray that God will preserve you from the baseness of the evil one and his cohorts.

But watch against the temptation to blackmail others, and to give them out to be crucified, because they make us look worse because they are better than us. And when and if you are accused, may it be that the accusations are indeed false.


O Lord, I know it hurt so much when you were made the butt of the lies and scheming of evil people, in a conspiracy to kill a godly Person. I know you could have worked a miracle to make every one of those false witnesses drop unconscious or dead. But you were abused because of me, and for my sake, you endured it, and you did not answer back.

Please keep me from abusing others with false accusations and bad-mouthing, especially those I call brothers and sisters in Christ.

For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.



________________________ DAILY word study: FALSE EVIDENCE

The phrase False evidence corresponds to the Greek phrase "ψευδομαρτυρίαν" (pseudomarturian). "ψευδο-" (pseu-do-) is a Greek prefix which means "false" or "lying." It indicates something that is not true or deceptive."μαρτυρίαν" (marturian) is a Greek noun which means "testimony" or "witnessing." It refers to statements or evidence provided as a witness in a legal or testimonial context.

In this context of our key verse for today's devotional, the pursuit of false evidence against Jesus underscores the grave injustice and corruption present in the trial and persecution of Jesus. The religious authorities, who should have upheld the highest moral and ethical standards, are actively engaging in deceit to achieve their malicious goals. This reflects the depth of animosity and opposition faced by Jesus from those in positions of power.

The concept of seeking false evidence in this passage prompts us to reflect on the theme of injustice and the abuse of power. It serves as a stark reminder of the lengths to which people can go when they are motivated by fear, jealousy, or self-interest. It also highlights the vulnerability of innocent individuals in the face of a corrupt and biased system.

This passage challenges us to stand against injustice and to uphold truth and righteousness, even when it may come at a personal cost. It calls us to be vigilant against deception and the manipulation of facts for malicious purposes. As we study the phrase false evidence, may it inspire you to champion truth, justice, and integrity in your actions and interactions, aligning your principles with those exemplified by Jesus, who endured such injustice for the salvation of humanity.

Reflections: How can you actively support truth and justice in your own life, particularly in situations where falsehoods and deceit are employed for unjust purposes? In what ways can you emulate Jesus' unwavering commitment to truth and righteousness, even in the face of opposition or persecution?

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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