In a famous line from one of his movies, actor Jack Nicholson said “You can’t handle the truth!”
Fact is, he had a point. Quite often, in private and public life, the truth is the very last thing that we want to deal with. We often go to great lengths to avoid facing tough reality and difficult decisions. Facing up to terrorism has been a prime example. There are still people who would rather ignore it all and simply hope it goes away.
The same goes for trouble in our families. The religious authorities in Jesus’ day became more and more uneasy, because every time they attacked Jesus he turned it into some kind of a lesson. There is no antidote to the truth, just as there is no darkness that can eradicate light. Jesus stood in what had become a dark place, and the light of his truth was simply too much for them.
Light of Truth
A lot of us are like that, especially regarding our family. Sometimes Jesus gets under our skin, too much light makes us nervous, and we want to find fault with God, pretend the truth does not exist, or just thrash around in our frustration, getting increasingly angry.
Jesus understands, and he says My peace I give to you. However, he is not willing to let us off the hook. No, it is too important for that, and things have gone too far for that kind of a graceful exit. His truth is designed to expose our trouble, and his light illuminates our need for the generous kind of grace that he has in mind.
On Good Friday, the high priest passed up his opportunity to learn from The Teacher, turned his back, and sent him on his way. The great danger, always, after such a celebration as Easter, is the constant possibility that we will do the same thing.