The Absence of Truth
Some of the most hilarious moments you will experience in life are directly connected with instances where communication fails. Nowadays it is easier than ever for communication to break down with the prevalence of texts and emails we send out on a daily basis. Perhaps there is nothing more frightful than sending a text or email to the wrong person. Like the parent who intends to send a text to their spouse saying, “Have you picked up our accidents from school yet?” Only to realize they sent the text to one of their two twin daughters. All of the sudden those daughters now realize they were not planned. Or how about typing out, “I love you,” then looking down to see you accidentally sent that text message to your boss at work. Thank goodness there are finally features on your phone that allow you to edit or delete text messages.
Generalizations being made typically leads to communication falling apart as well. When you assume what is being said will make sense to the person you’re speaking to, that is when misinterpretations are made. Several years ago, when my wife and I were newlyweds, and we weren’t always on the same page communication wise, I sent her a text that read “Apple stuff” is on sale. To which she replied, “We have a TON of apples.” I’ve always looked back at text conversation and wondered, did we raid a grocery store or orchard? She said we had a TON of apples. I just picture the kitchen we had in our first apartment piled to the ceiling with apples. Anyways, my response to her text was simply, “Lol…Mac stuff.”
Messages being lost in translation has also brought about some humorous moments in the past. Such is the reason why the game of Telephone is still played in school and youth gatherings all around the world.
Speaking of places around the world, when Coca-Cola first made its way over to China, they had their name translated into Mandarin. The translated name would be printed on thousands of signs to be put up around the country. The only problem was the translation came out to mean, “Bite the wax tadpole.” KFC also messed up in translating their promotional phrase “finger-lickin good” into Mandarin, when the translated phrase printed on signage came out to mean, “Eat your fingers off.” You would think companies would learn from their competitors mistakes, but in Taiwan, during the 1960’s, the translation of the Pepsi slogan, “Come alive with the Pepsi generation,” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”
While communication breaking down can create some light-hearted moments, it also can lead to serious consequences. Almost every year it seems there is a story about someone wrongfully going to prison due to evidence being withheld. One of the most famous stories of this happening is the story of Dennis Counterman. Wrongfully accused of both arson and murder, Mr. Counterman served eighteen years in prison before being released. What was the primary cause for his sentence finally being dismissed? After many years went by it was discovered that prosecutors had withheld evidence from an initial police report that proved his innocence.
Easter is now in our rear-view mirror, but when you look back at the sentencing of Jesus, his death on the cross occurred because truth was withheld concerning the life he had lived. While the perfect will of God was accomplished, and we ought to be grateful for our salvation that has come through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; It is interesting to note the trial of Jesus broke several Jewish laws.
To name a few, Jesus was tried without the entire Sanhedrin present. Then it is found that legal proceedings were prohibited from taking place at night, yet that is when Jesus was brought to the high priest (Mark 14:53). Beyond those laws being broken, perhaps the most significant law disregarded during this time was the denial of defense witnesses. According to Jewish law, the Sanhedrin is required to call for defense witnesses. If no witnesses can be found, then a member of the religious elite must serve as a defense witness.
You might be thinking to yourself, why does any of that matter? Certainly, Jesus was supposed to die. If His trial did not end the way it did, we would be dead in our trespasses. Nevertheless, I have always been taken back when reading the words spoken by Pilate, the Roman Governor who would permit Jesus’ crucifixion. In particular, Pilate is recorded in John 18:38 as questioning what the “truth” was that Jesus spoke of. We can look back and say that truth was the life Jesus had lived and the kingdom he was establishing on earth. Yet, Pilate would never have an opportunity to hear about truth before Jesus’ death, in large part because defense witnesses never had a chance to testify before him.
Our world is full of men like Pilate, who don’t understand truth. Truth from their perspective is centered around entertainment, politics, power, wealth, and created gods. Many have heard about Jesus, but the testimonies aren’t always positive. Thus, they don’t comprehend the freedom that Jesus provides. The love and peace we experience by knowing Christ, is completely foreign to them. What contributes to this dilemma? I would say it is largely due to the overly religious people holding back the evidence to what God has done. That is what the religious elite did when they put Jesus on trial. They withheld defense witnesses, who would have spoken to not only what Jesus had said, but the miracles he had performed.
People who only share what Jesus has commanded but not the works He has done, do so because they are not experiencing transformation on a regular basis. Knowing the word of God is essential to comprehending truth. However, sharing the word of God without expressing how His word changes lives will restrict people from seeking after truth. Don’t ever let anyone hold you back from sharing how God’s Word has transformed your life! Your testimony has the power to lead people to knowing the truth!
Andrew is the proud husband to Chelsea and father to Carson. Currently, he serves as youth pastor at the First Apostolic Church of Aurora, Illinois. He has been involved in youth ministry in some capacity for the last 13 years. Additionally, He serves as the Section 12 Youth Director and Media Coordinator for Illinois Youth Ministries. On the side, he owns a creative design company called Spark Innovative Solutions. His educational background includes a BA in Psychology, (minor in Communication) from Oakland University and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Liberty University.