The Issue of Credibility

In Luke 4 after Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law from a fever, many came to him to be healed. Some of those who came were tormented by demons, whom Jesus rebuked and sent away from their victims. As they left, they started to declare that Jesus was the Son of God, but Jesus silenced them. His action raises the question of why did Jesus prevent the demons from declaring that he was the Messiah, the Son of God? At first glance it doesn’t seem to make sense. Since Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, wouldn’t it make sense that Jesus just let them speak the truth? In this case, no. Since demons are not credible whatever they say would be taken as false, or a trick. Those hearing the demons could come to all kinds of conclusions about what they said, but they probably would not believe that the demons were actually telling the truth, which in this case they actually were. In fact, we know that later on the religious leaders declared that Jesus was in league with Satan. Demons declaring that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God could lead some to this conclusion. In order to protect the people from coming to a false conclusion, because of what the demons declared, Jesus silenced the demons so that the people could come to their own conclusion about Jesus by listening to what he said and observing what he did.

When someone loses credibility, what they say is often not believable, even when they are telling the truth. This situation presents us with two realities. First, it is important for us to live consistent and authentic lives which will lead to our being credible when we communicate with others, not to mention all the other benefits of living in such a manner. If we gain the reputation for not being consistent, or fudging the truth then whatever we say will be called into question. Second, while it is wise to consider the source when we hear or read something, it is also wise to look into what is said independently in order to determine the truth on its own merits.

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