|Agreeing With The Accuser
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes a statement that has caused me to wonder and muse upon the meaning of it for our present time. The New King James version says it this way:
Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. – Matthew 5:25
I’m aware that there are obvious implications for actual legal matters in this verse, but it seems that Jesus is touching a higher principle that has to do with the spiritual realities of our lives. In that light, I’ve always tried to NOT agree with the accuser, attempting to set my heart and mind in agreement with what the Lord says about my life and my situation. That’s an important reality, but what I’m coming to see is that agreement with God’s assessment comes later, and that there is an essential step in the process that we must not ignore.
There’s another passage that brings understanding to this issue. In Zechariah 3:1-7, there is an account of Joshua the High Priest standing before the Lord God in the context of a courtroom setting. The Lord speaks to rebuke the accuser, and sets in motion the cleansing and establishing of Joshua in a place of authority in the courts of the Lord. Thank God for His mercy and grace!
However, here’s the point: the accuser was right in his accusation. Joshua was dressed in filthy garments. He had sinned; he had defiled himself and his office, and deserved to be placed in the fire of destruction that is the realm of the accuser. He was not fit to stand in the place of authority that God had planned for him. His only salvation was that God had chosen him, and had made provision for his cleansing and restoration.
Like it or not, this is our position before the Lord every day. We sin. We blow it, we fail to live up to the standard of perfection that Jesus walked in. And in that place, we are instructed to agree with the accuser – in other words, confess our sinful condition before the Lord. To stand before God and protest our innocence of sin is to stand in a place of arrogance and pride, to present ourselves on our own merits, and is an insult to the holiness of God.
Agreement with the accuser as we stand before the Lord places us in a position like the tax collector of Luke 18:10-14. When we acknowledge that the accuser is right – we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory – we place ourselves directly in the path of Jesus’ testimony as our Advocate. He speaks a better word than the accuser, namely: “Father, My blood has covered this one. As they have agreed with the accuser and confessed their need, so now, because of My blood sacrifice which covers them, You are free to give them mercy. It is the just and right thing to do (see 1 John 1:8-10).”
Because of what Jesus has done through His death and resurrection, and through His ministry of intercession in the courtroom of Heaven, it is now just and right for the Father to show us mercy, to cleanse us, to restore us, and to dress us in the robes of righteousness that clothe the priests of the Kingdom of God.
My encouragement is this: end every day by agreeing with the accuser that we’ve missed the mark of the perfection of Jesus. Make confession to Him, and let the Word of His testimony wash over you, cleanse you, and make you ready again to serve in His courts in the full identity and destiny He has called you to.