The disciples of Jesus were rattled when he told them the truth about his suffering. They could not believe that Jesus would suffer at the hands of religious leaders, be killed, and be raised to life on the third day. Peter, in reply, took Jesus aside and rebuked him. “Never, Lord!” he said, “this shall never happen to you!” Jesus, in turn, rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matt. 18:21 -23). The truth Jesus spoke about himself was akin to a bitter pill, distasteful to chew and digest.
Jesus, the embodiment of grace and truth, willingly suffered for the truth of God’s kingdom. Our human concern should be to discern the times and live the truth of God’s word, working towards the flourishing of every human being. It is worth noting that in the same breath, Jesus spoke about his suffering and resurrection! Therefore, Jesus resurrected, a follower of Jesus can never give in to pessimism and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. The truth will always triumph. Truthfulness sustains healthy community living. Lies, however, often rear their ugly head and made-up stories born in the furnace of hatred, birth fear and violence. When lies are paraded as truth, gullible followers consider them marching orders, which results in people suffering. We should always remain open to correction. Without truth-speaking, it becomes hard to cooperate and work for the righteousness and peace of God’s kingdom. Shouldn’t family relationships between husband and wife, parents and children have a rock-solid foundation of speaking the truth in love? Dark secrets destroy relationships when brought to light. Yet, truthful confession and repentance restore joy. Imagine the beauty of reconciled humanity, families, and nations. In a world divided by lies and mistrust of the other, lives based on life-giving grace and truth provide credibility.