Can you imagine how Jesus felt when day after day, he was accused....by the religious leaders of his day, neighbours He grew up with, and the angry in the crowds who followed? When He stood before his accusers, the Pharisees had no trouble drumming up those who would lie to suit their purposes. In the face of it, Jesus didn't defend Himself, He didn't plead His case. He knew who He was; He knew His destiny. What courage, what tenaciousness to stand in the face of trickery and deceit.
On a very small level, this week, being falsely accused, I saw a tiny glimpse of what He must have felt. Unlike Jesus, I plead my case. I did not remain stoic in the face of this trial. I spoke with those in authority over me. I worked with the accuser to get to the reasons he felt this was necessary. And at the core of it all, I could actually pray for this young boy, who in a rage over being corrected on an assignment, felt he could liberally vent with a personal, vindictive slur against this old teacher. How in the moment children live! If only they could see the hours we spend in the middle of the long nights wondering how to best encourage them, the evenings spent pouring over their workbooks and essays, trying to squeeze out marks and making labourious decisions over final grades, ever trying to be fair in our dealings and assessments.
And isn't that the way? Like children, we cannot see behind the scenes and into the hearts of those who hurt. When someone rants out a verbal attack, he will never have enough information to judge rightly. He is in the moment and doesn't have all the facts. The Pharisees were "blind guides", completely without truth when it came to the identity of Jesus. Here they were, the leaders of the synagogue entangled in laws and traditions and couldn't recognize the Holy One standing in front of them. So they accused.
I learned something this week. Accusations, in whatever form, can be met head on with truth in quietness and trust of the One who can be our Champion in any situation. When guilty, best to admit it head on. When innocent, best to pray for those who accuse and try to bring closure with forgiveness and truth.