Satan’s favorite weapons

 J.C. Ryle on Luke 23:1-12 

Jesus-TrialLet us observe, for one thing, in this passage, what false accusations were laid to our Lord Jesus Christ’s charge.We are told that the Jews accused Him of “subverting the nation, forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and stirring up the people.” In all this indictment, we know, there was not a word of truth. It was nothing but an ingenious attempt to enlist the feeling of a Roman governor against our Lord.

False witness and slander are two favorite weapons of the devil. He was a liar from the beginning, and is still the father of lies. (John 8:44.) When he finds that he cannot stop God’s work, his next device is to blacken the character of God’s servants, and to destroy the value of their testimony. With this weapon he assaulted David–“False witnesses,” he says, “did rise against me–they laid to my charge things that I knew not.” With this weapon he assaulted the prophets. Elijah was a “troubler of Israel!” Jeremiah was a man who “sought not the welfare of the people but the hurt!” (Psalm 35:11; 1 Kings 18:17; Jer. 38:4.) With this weapon he assaulted the apostles. They were “pestilent fellows,” and men who “turned the world upside down.” (Acts 24:5; 17:6.) With this weapon he assaulted our Lord all through His ministry. He stirred up his agents to call Him a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a Samaritan and a devil. (Luke 7:34; John 8:48.) And here, in the verses before us, we find him plying his old weapon to the very last. Jesus is arraigned before Pilate upon charges which are utterly untrue.

The servant of Christ must never be surprised if he has to drink of the same cup with his Lord. When He who was holy, harmless, and undefiled, was foully slandered, who can expect to escape? “If they called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call them of his household?” (Matt. 10:25.) Nothing is too bad to be reported against a saint. Perfect innocence is no fence against enormous lying, calumny, and misrepresentation. The most blameless character will not secure us against false tongues. We must bear the trial patiently. It is part of the cross of Christ. We must sit still, lean back on God’s promises, and believe that in the long run truth will prevail. “Rest in the Lord,” says David, “and wait patiently for Him.” “He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.” (Psalm 37:6, 7.)


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