A well-known minister told how he was rebuked and humbled on a certain occasion, when he repeated to a friend a serious matter he had heard about another. His friend opened his Bible to Deuteronomy 13:14, “If you hear someone say…then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you…”
Then, his friend turned quietly to him, and asked, “Have you, dear brother, ‘inquired?’ Have you ‘searched out?’ Did you ‘ask diligently?’ Did you try to find out if the story is true, and the thing is certain? Is it certain that such a thing was committed by the one accused?”
The minister acknowledged that he could regretfully admit that he had not followed one of these conditions, and was repeating the tale from hearsay.
Jesus said, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70).
Christ’s words are strong, “One of you is a devil!” Surprisingly, the word translated devil (diabolos) isn’t referring to Judas being a demon, but is more accurately translated false accuser, slanderer!
The essence of the word is to bring charges against someone with hostile intent. Judas listened to the devil’s accusations against Jesus, and after “Satan entered into Judas” (Luke 22:3), those internal voices eventually formed in his mind, a justification for his betrayal.
A lady, known to be a gossip, was standing in the street conversing with a second woman, when the latter dropped her handkerchief. The gossip bent down to pick it up, and said, “What a beautiful handkerchief. May I have it?”
“Please return it to me,” replied the woman. “I want to have one thing into which you have never put your nose!”
“Whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18).
Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center