Would you ask your worst enemies if they could point out any sin in your life?

Neither would I.  No way.  Anyone who knows us, even a little, can criticize us for bad choices we make.  Those who spend the most time with us see our selfishness, dishonesty, disloyalty, etc., very easily.  And what about a worst enemy who scrutinizes us and asks around about us?  Why, I’d be ripped apart.  Every regret would be brought up, every small mistake exposed.

But when Jesus asked this question–

Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? (John 8:46, ESV)

–Not one enemy could answer, “Here’s where you sinned, Jesus . . .”

. . because Jesus didn’t sin.

One night, the leaders who hated Jesus arrested Him for a false trial in the middle of the night.  They tried to find people to lie about Him.  But even with people trying to lie about Him, the only thing they could come up with as “sin” is told in Mark’s account:

Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. (Mark 14:55-59, NIV)

They twisted Jesus’ words, saying that He had said He would tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days.  But what had He really said, in context?

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”

All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:13-19, NLT)

Jesus did not say that He would destroy the temple.

If I say, Read the book, I’m not talking about myself reading the book.  I’m saying, You read the book.  Jesus was giving a challenge: if they destroyed the temple (and they would, though they had no idea what temple He was talking about), He would raise it back up.

“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said. (John 2:19-22, NLT)

The temple Jesus meant was His body.  It was the greatest miracle of all.  He had already done all kinds of undisputed  miracles (not even His worst enemies could question that they were real)—but they weren’t enough.  Because many of the religious leaders didn’t want Him to be the Son of God.  They wanted to be able to say what got people into Heaven and who had sinned too many times or too severely (like the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery).

The final miracle Jesus gave those who questioned that He was the Son of God (although He did later send them more miracles through the disciples) was His resurrection.  But Jesus had already warned that, even at the greatest of miracles, those who did not want to believe wouldn’t believe.  Jesus gave a statement Abraham had made:

“‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” (Luke 16:31b, NIV)

When the false witnesses lying about Jesus’ words didn’t work, the corrupted religious leaders had to face a dangerous conclusion: they would have to accuse Jesus of sin in claiming to be the Son of God.

This was very, very dangerous because  Jesus had all the signs of being the Son of God.  To convict Him of blasphemy, they would have to pronounce that He had blasphemed without any evidence.

So the only two things they could find to accuse Jesus of wrongdoing was

1. Twisting His words into a lie of their own concoction.

2.His claim to be the Messiah if He wasn’t the Messiah.

“If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”

He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” (Luke 22:67-71, NLT)

Jesus’ words reveal that the leaders wouldn’t even answer their own question!  They wouldn’t answer whether or not He was the Son of God . . because they knew He was.  In Jesus’ parable about the vineyard (Luke 20:9-19), He had already revealed that they knew who He was.

We can trust that God is good because Jesus, who represented His Father to us in His time on earth, lived a life of total goodness, a life without sin.  His life was so good that His worst enemies could only come up with an out-and-out lie and, when that failed, an accusation that He had blasphemed God by saying He was God’s Son . . when everything about Him evidenced He spoke the truth.  After that, they had to murder Him as quickly as they could.

If my worst enemies were asked to point out sin in my life, I’d be doomed.  But when Jesus’ worst enemies try to point out sin in His life, they always end up pointing back at themselves.  Accusing Jesus is something like throwing garbage straight up in the air and expecting it to hit God.  We bury ourselves in our own trash.

Knowing God is good changes everything we think about Him.  At last, we can run to Him for salvation.  But refusing to believe God is good carries with it a state of refusing help from God.  And in that case, we will face Him on Judgment Day from underneath the pile of trash we tried to throw at Him.

Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. (Acts 3:19, NLT)


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