Not the Whole Truth, Sometimes

As I was reading my daughter a Bible story tonight, I realized that Jesus didn’t always tell the whole truth.

John 12 starts with Mary taking a pound of pure nard and anointing Jesus’ feet with it. Judas complains about the gesture and before John includes Jesus’ response, John tells us why Judas complained – he was a thief and wanted the money for himself! Then we are told Jesus’ response, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” (v. 7-8, ESV)

Jesus did not say anything about Judas’ greed or his thievery. Jesus rebuked him and addressed his complaint on its face. Jesus did not use any of the rationals we here today when people use “the truth” to verbally assault a person. Jesus said enough to stop Judas and correct him but not enough to disclose all that He knew about Judas (6:70-71). In the same way we should be cautious about how, how much, and why we disclose the truth of the person or situation.