Fake news has been a household name in this social media saturated culture. In the past, you could get fake ID’s, fake flowers, fake eyelashes, etc., but never could anyone imagine a day where fake news existed. This kind of news only has one agenda, that is to deceive people.
In the Bible, there were instances of fake news similar to that of our time. These aimed to blur Christ including His identity and works. Here are five fake reports recorded in the Bible regarding Jesus:
Jesus’ resurrection is a hoax.
Disproving the bodily resurrection of Christ is not merely a product of modern times. Before the Passover Plot or The Da Vinci Code made such claims, the very same group of people who conspired to crucify the Lord also schemed another deceptive ploy.
“While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” – Matthew 28: 11-15
The notion that Jesus’ resurrection did not actually take place was received by many; however, the true gospel message also reached numerous souls and have thus brought men and women to a passionate desire to tell the world about Christ’s victory over sin and death. Truly, the resurrection of Christ is where the Christian faith is hinged upon. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15: 14:
“…and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith.”
Jesus is just another Old Testament prophet.
As Jesus’ ministry gained prominence, people started speculating who He really was.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”—Matthew 16: 13-19
As the passage indicates, knowing Christ for who He really is doesn’t depend on popular opinion but it depends on God’s revelation. God has the last say in the identity of Christ.
False Christ in the end times.
Before Jesus’ second coming, we will hear of many ‘fake christs’.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” – Matthew 24:23- 28
As you can see, many will claim to be Christ and deceive many—even the true Christians. As we all know, there are couple of dishonest reports like this all throughout history, and it will continue to come ‘til the true Christ comes. And that’s no fake news!
Jesus is a drunkard and a glutton.
Accusations to deter Christ’s character proliferated in those time. Because He would meet people in need of a spiritual physician (in other words, someone who would forgive and save them from their sins), He was often invited to parties that the religious crowd considered as sinners.
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”—Matthew 11: 18-19
While the religious group focused on peripheral matters, Jesus pointed them to the fruit of their actions. Such was the wisdom of Christ. The ministry approach of Jesus and John did not fit the expectations that the religious crowd had already set up. Instead, Jesus and John acted upon wisdom and obedience to God the Father.
Jesus didn’t come in the flesh.
If in current times many people have a hard time believing in the deity of Jesus, the population in apostle John’s time had it the other way around. They didn’t want to believe that God the Son came into the world as a human being. So before Arius made headlines centuries later, many were already causing quite a stir within the church of God with their fake news.
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.” – 2 John 1: 7
The last apostle, John the Beloved, wanted to set the record straight that those who taught that Jesus did not come in the flesh were, in fact, false teachers. These teachers were into Gnosticism, which is an ongoing belief that directly opposes the Christian message.