“If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would
not have handed him over to you.”
John 18:30 (NIV)
One of the most hurtful things that can happen to anyone is to be falsely accused of something you would never do or say. Once the gossiping people get started there is no way you can stop the false information from spreading around the world. An old proverb said, “A lie will go around the world before truth pulls its boots on.”
Initially the Jews did not wish to disclose their real reason for seeking the death of Jesus according to our verse today. They wanted Jesus to die for the capital offense of claiming to be God (John 5:18; 8:58-59). Jesus did indeed claim to be God because He is God, but the Jews denied His claim. However, if it was disclosed to Pilate that Jesus thought Himself to be God, Pilate would likely have thought Jesus simply a lunatic and dismissed Him as harmless.
Jesus was the sinless One Who was finally falsely accused of three things before Pilate the Roman governor in Judea. The first charge was a vague comment on Him perverting the people. The second charge was a lie and it was that Jesus told the people not to pay tax to Caesar (Matthew 22:15-22). The third charge against Jesus was that He claimed to be a king. Of the three the second and third would especially interest Pilate.
It is a sad reality that many people experience assaults on their reputation. Some are so poor that all they have is a good reputation. Even that can be taken away from them when a person gets hold of half a truth and tells it as the whole truth. A man left on a business trip for a week and people heard from a gossip that he had left the family for good. The man’s brief absence from the home was turned into a statement that he had deserted the family.
Any one of us can be the target of wagging tongues and there seems no good defence from it. It happens and before we know it our reputation is in ruins. How it hurts us when we are the object of unjust tongue wagging by people who have nothing better to do than traffic in the latest nonsense.
If your reputation lies in ruins today because of false statements made about you, turn to the One Who knows how you feel. Jesus did not try to refute the false claims against Him. He left the matter to His Father in heaven to sort out in due time.
Can you wait patiently for the Lord to vindicate you? Efforts to sort out the false accusations are usually futile. You only wear yourself out and for little in return. True friends will never receive negative comments about you until they check with you first. Good friends rise to your defence and are the best people to stop the mouths of these people.
Jesus endured false accusations by others. Come to Him as He encourages you to do and find in Him comfort and acceptance when others have turned from you because of the lies spread. In the quiet presence of Jesus we will find the help that is needed.