image courtesy of toptenz
Did Jesus ever tell a lie?
Not too long ago I did a series on Rahab*, which focused on ethics, lying, and possible conflict within the laws of God. Shawn Smucker (of blogging fame) remembered that series when reading through the Gospel of John, and gave me a heads up on this apparent lie of Jesus from chapter 7. Below is my own modern-day interpretation of John 7:1-10:
Festival of Shelters was playing Friday night in Judea, so Jesus’ brothers invited him, “Come on, let’s get out of Galilee. All your followers will be there, and they can see your miracles. Stop hiding the magic, man. Let the world see. Jesus, you’ll be famous!” [This was said with a lot of sarcasm because at this point not even Jesus' brothers believed he was the Son of God.]
But Jesus said he couldn’t make it. ”Nah, the timing’s not right. You guys can go to any concert you want; no one’s trying to kill you. But everyone hates me because I keep telling them what they’re doing is wrong. You guys hit this shindig without me. I’m not going, cats — the timing is off.” So Jesus stayed in Galilee.
But after his brothers went to the party, Jesus followed… in disguise — because the Jewish leaders were looking to kill him at the concert.
What do you think? Did Jesus lie? Or did he just change his mind? Did he know ahead of time he was going to change his mind? If he knew ahead of time, is that really changing his mind? If he lied, we have to assume it was okay, right? What makes it so? Ah, the questions are countless….