What is your perspective? Is it based on assumption or truth? Can you judge a situation based on a few facts? Let’s see.                 

In scenario one, there is a fellow. His name is Jack. He is fairly new in a congregation and attends faithfully. After a few months he gives his testimony of overcoming abuse of alcohol and shares that he is recently divorced.

Two weeks later, a member of the congregation, Jim, who is a friend of Jack, is driving through town; and he sees Jack coming out of a bar with another fellow. The fellow has his arm embraced around Jack’s shoulders and the two men get into Jack’s car and drive off….

Well we have a few facts here. Let’s look at another situation.

There is a lady that gets on a travel bus with a young child of about six years old. Not five minutes into the drive, the child starts crying and throwing a temper tantrum. The child yells, “I want my daddy!” The mother tries to console her son, but he keeps crying hysterically and starts to kick the chair in front of him.  The man sitting in the chair turns around and says, “Could you please control your child.” Another passenger whispers under her breath, “Yeah … probably another product of divorce.” The mother breaks down. Her head drops in her hands, and she cries great sobs while the son continues in his tantrum….

Scenario three. A congregation has a service once a month that includes a healing and deliverance ministry at the end. The congregation also has a Davidic dance team that dances during the praise and worship time. This particular service is known by the members to be such a service with deliverance ministry.

Two visitors walk in and sit down in the back just before the dance leader announces that anyone who would like to join the dance circle is welcome to do so. The dance team begins dancing in full view of the congregation. As the music plays a few people join the circle of near 20 people.  

After a couple of songs play, the visiting young lady  from the back pew comes out into the main aisle wearing a flowing dress with a scarf and heavy make-up. Her hair is long and bushy. She staggers up to the front and when she gets near the dance circle, she finds her own space outside the circle. She starts to move in jerking motions and flails her arms wildly in the air. She makes some grunting and shrieking noises and has a smile on her face. She twists and jumps and catches all eyes in the room. The gentlemen in the back pew who had come in with the young lady leaned forward on the pew in front of him with his hands clasped. Tears rolled down his cheeks and his eyes fixed on the young lady….

Let’s go back to divorced Jack, a former alcoholic coming out of a bar with another man embracing his shoulders and driving off together.  What’s happening here?

Well, Jim being the good friend he is, he speaks to Jack privately and mentions he was in town and saw Jack at the bar.  

Jack turned beet red realizing how this may have looked. He explains to Jim that he did not fall off the wagon and start drinking. The truth is the fellow draped around his shoulders was a pal from the Twelve-Step program Jack had finished. The guy from the group gave Jack, his accountability partner, a call for help and asked for a ride home.

Now let’s take a look at the lady on the travel bus with her young son screaming, “I want my daddy.” A little old grandma walks over, as little old ladies do, and asks the mother if there is anything she can do to help.

“I have a few mints,” she says. “Maybe he would like a candy?”

The mother said, “Thank you but I don’t think that will help him. You see, we are on our way to the military base where my husband’s body is due to arrive tomorrow. My son and I only found out a couple hours ago that his dad was killed in action. I guess we aren’t handling it too well.”

The elder lady expresses her condolences, but before she goes back to her seat, she takes her cane and swipes the man’s chair in front of the little boy and says, “Shame on you.”

Now, the last scenario, the young lady dancing wildly and grunting in the front of the congregation; what do we think of her?

The elders surround her taking their cues from the leader of the congregation and the visiting gentlemen from the back pew sprints up to the front.

“Don’t touch her,” he says. “My daughter has brain damage and she wanted to come here today. You see, last night, I explained salvation through Yeshua to her for the hundredth time, and she finally understood. It was like a light went on in her brain. She asked if she could go to Yeshua’s house and thank Him. I told her yes. I know her dance was from a grateful heart. We didn’t mean to be a disturbance.”

The lesson in the aforementioned situations is if we make assumptions by observation, even when all things appear to line up for a certain assumption, unless we ASK, we don’t know the truth.

John 8:32 says, And you will know the truth and that truth will set you free (AENT). In this chapter Yeshua testifies to who He is in relation to the Father and tells the Pharisees and Jews that He is the light of the world sent from the Father. He further explains that he who follows Him will no longer live in darkness, but will find the light of life for himself.

The Pharisees are not receiving Yeshua’s word to follow this truth. Yeshua explains that when they sin, they are a servant to sin; and without His truth, they will die in their sin. The Pharisees debate Yeshua’s truth with their own reasoning that they were never in bondage and therefore do not need to be set free. They state they are the seed of Abraham and they have one Father, Elohim.

Yeshua, not missing a beat here, corrects their lack of comprehending the truth. He tells them if they were doers like Abraham, they would hear the One who G-d has sent. But, because they do not follow the deeds of Abraham and seek to kill Yeshua, the father they are following is the father of lies, the accuser.  Later in the chapter, the Pharisees try to turn that statement around by accusing Yeshua to be a liar in stating He has a demon.

The subject matter in chapter eight of John I have referenced here and the above examples of false perceptions may seem anciently different. But, we can actually draw quite a few parallels.

We have the Pharisees who observed (watched) Yeshua and made some assumptions. In not hearing the truth, they remained in sin and opened themselves up to the accuser. Sadly, they got so stuck in their own perception and way of thinking, that even when they heard the truth, they couldn’t comprehend the truth. The result was: in their sin, they wanted to kill Yeshua and they picked up stones to do just that.

In the same manner, if we take facts without truth, we can come to some incorrect conclusions. With perceptions and conclusions being false, the accuser can slip in and bring about slander. In this state we are in sin. Slander’s affect is like murder. We can kill a person’s reputation, hurt a person’s character, cause division in gossip, and on and on with unchecked perceptions. G-d forbid, we become blinded by our own reasoning even when we hear the truth and accuse a person of lying.

Facts are all around us, but there is only one truth.

We need to seek the L-rd and trust truth. Let us take hold of Yeshua’s words: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by me (John 14:6). And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). Amen.

Blessings and Shalom!