While Donald Trump is ranting about being on the receiving end of ‘fake news’, he’s certainly not the first to have suffered in this way. Some of the headlines in Jesus’ day might have read as follows: “It’s official: Jesus’ mother says he’s mad”, or “Jesus threatens to destroy the Temple” or how about, “This would-be Messiah is a lawbreaker”, or even worse “Exclusive: Jesus is doing the devil’s work.” All of them were based on half-truths and deliberate misinterpretations, and used by his enemies to try and damage his character and attack his mission.
What’s interesting is how Jesus chose to respond. He didn’t call a press conference and lash out at those who had falsely accused him. Rather he took the time to explain what was really going on and allowed his actual words and actions to speak for themselves.
In the end it was a fake news story – that he was a blasphemer and revolutionary – that sent him to his death on the cross. But even then he chose to respond by offering forgiveness to those who condemned him. Two thousand years on those fake news stories have been shown to be exactly what they were, while the One who claimed to be The Truth still speaks loud and clear.