THE STORY OF JESUS: Acts 22:30 – 23:5
“For it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’” (Acts 23:5)
Jesus followers should not be disrespectful, they should speak the truth in love.
If Paul was disrespectful for calling the high priest a ‘whitewashed wall’, what about Jesus?
Jesus called Pharisees “whitewashed tombs full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23:27-28)
I am convinced that as harsh as these words sound, they were filled with grace.
He is speaking to their hearts, not judging them but calling them back to God.
The high priest was wrong about Paul, but Paul still needed to show respect.
“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:7)
Many of our rulers today are hard to respect, especially some.
But we owe them respect as human beings, as well as for their office and calling.
They will be held accountable, but we will not be the judges.
We can speak the truth, but be sure it is true, and say it with grace.
Our hope should not be their shame, but their salvation.
They especially need grace and mercy, for they will be judged more strictly.
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, may I be respectful to the police, to politicians, and to our government leaders, even when they are wrong. May they see in me a better example of how one ought to deal with disagreement and differences.