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8th Commandment

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Commandment 8. Please use Matthew 26:59-61 as a base but you can add in the Catechism & any other reliable source you find appropriate. Thanks again-we'll look forward to having you & your family. Light supper at 6, Service from 7:00-7:45.

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Matthew 26:59–61 ESV
Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’ ”
The Small Catechism:
The Book of Concord The Eighth Commandment

The Eighth [Commandment]

You are not to bear false witness against your neighbor.

What is this? Answer:

We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.

The Large Catechism:
The Book of Concord The Eighth Commandment

The Eighth Commandment

Exodus 20:16 ESV
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Introduction:
Context:

I. The False Witnesses Open their Mouths

A. Seeking false testimony against Jesus

Exodus 20:16 ESV
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
It is ironic that the council who represented God’s people, the people who had God’s Law given to them, were blatantly disregarding them. They knew this Commandment to not bear false witness by memory, but they proceeded in their evil plot.

i. That they might put him to death

a. Their motives were hateful (… and selfish/prideful)
b. They were judging their brother (when this was not their job)
Matthew 7:1–5 ESV
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
James 4:11–12 ESV
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
c. A neighbor is not to judge a neighbor. If you find out about someone’s sin you must not tell it to other people. Scripture clearly tells us that we must go directly to the person who has sinned and make it known to them so that they may have opportunity to repent and be restored. If they will not listen to you then you take two or three other witnesses and bring it to them. Finally, if they persist in their sin, they are to be brought before the congregation or the proper authority so that they may be judged appropriately. If you do not tell the person directly, they have no opportunity to repent. You also ruin their reputation. This is not
1 Peter 4:8 ESV
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
d. Luther explains in the Large Catechism that only people who are in an office of authority can judge. If you are a parent, a judge, a police officer you MUST judge. This is your duty as an authority.

ii. But they found none

a. He was innocent. They did not even have a legitimate reason to be against him. He had done no wrong against them.
b. They were wrong. They were the ones who were disobedient and yet they were seeking to condemn Him.
c. They were attacking the reputation of an innocent man.
This is obvious with Jesus, but it also happens every time you speak against your neighbor when you do not have accurate information or you make assumptions.
d. Their pride and hatred for Jesus drove them to search for something to hold against him.

iii. though many false witnesses came forward

a. Conflicting Testimonies: Mark 14:56 “For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree.
b. The punishment for false testimony in a capital trial and in Roman Law was execution. The Sanhedrin or Council was being frustrated in their wicked plans. They could not use these conflicting testimonies because their plot would be exposed and the case against Jesus would be thrown out. They didn’t care if the stories were true. They just wanted to get a testimony that would lead to a Jesus death even if it was false.

B. False Testimony Found:

i. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’ ”
ii. Mark 14:57-59,
57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.
a. It was considered a capital crime to destroy a sacred place, scholars point out. They thought that this was a serious enough crime to bring against Jesus so that Pilate would give them the death sentence that they desired.

iii. What Jesus actually said,

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.

a. He was referring to His body, not the 2nd Temple building in Jerusalem (which “was an empty shell” -Ylvisaker)
b. Even though the accusation was false, two witnesses agreed and so it was a case that the Sanhedrin could make against Jesus before Pilate.

iv. Error or a Lie? It has the same result.

a. Luther’s explanation of what to do if you find out about someone’s sin.
c. The Devil is in the business of using half truths. They sound like they are true. (ex. Adam & Eve; temptation of Jesus). He is the Father of Lies. It is the work of the Devil to tear down your neighbor and ruin his reputation. The Devil wants your neighbor to suffer and to despair. He delights when you follow him by gossiping. Satan loves it when you slander your neighbor behind his back. When you gossip and slander you are doing the work of the Devil.
d. God, on the other hand, wants to protect your neighbor and to restore him to repentance. Remember the Psalm we read earlier, Psalm 140. It says, “I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.”
Psalm 140 ESV
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. 1 Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 2 who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 3 They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah 4 Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 5 The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah 6 I say to the Lord, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord! 7 O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle. 8 Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah 9 As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! 10 Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise! 11 Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily! 12 I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. 13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

II. Jesus opened not His Mouth

Isaiah 53:7 ESV
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

A. He had plenty he could have said...

i. He had plenty He could have said… about his innocence

a. He is the only innocent one.
Isaiah 53:9 ESV
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

ii. He had plenty He could have said… about their (our) guilt

a. their guilt
b. our guilt
Luther’s description of bearing false witness:
Gossip & slander
Flattery
Proverbs 26:28 ESV
A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Isaiah 5:20–24 ESV
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
c. His silence
1 Peter 2:23 ESV
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

B. He received this willingly

Matthew 27:40 ESV
and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
John 10:17–18 ESV
For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Isaiah 53:7 ESV
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
1 Peter 2:22–25 ESV
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Conclusion:

We are the Chief Priests and Sanhedrin. We are the ones who bear false witness against our neighbor. It is in our nature to rely on our own righteousness and to think that we are better than our neighbor. We gossip and slander. We do this without love for our neighbor. We are not seeking to lovingly bring him to repentance so that he might be restored. We even tear down the innocent to make ourselves look better. We flatter others so that we may gain something from them. This is not love. This is not the way of God. This is rebellion against God.
God sees your sin. He sees how you reject His Law. He sees how you tear down your neighbor. He saw the ones who bore false witness against His Son too. He knew that Jesus would be rejected, mocked, and crucified. Out of His great love for you, He sent His Son to die in place of these false witnesses, in your place. Even while you were His enemy, Scripture says, Christ died for you. He endured the mockery and lies even while He hung on the Cross. He accepted it without opening His mouth.
Law:
Sin of the tongue
tearing down the neighbor (hatred)
trying to make yourself look better (pride/selfishness)
Big Idea/Hook: rejection of the Messiah with a preference to do things my way
Gospel:
Big idea/Hook:
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