Matthew 18 is full of parables: a central theme is that it is essential to have genuineness of heart and this must be evident in our forgiveness of others. Our heavenly Father sees and knows all. Jesus had told his disciples that “nothing is covered … or hidden that will not be made known” (10:26). His servants must serve him with a genuineness of heart. Today’s chapter ends with the parable of the servant who treated his fellow unjustly, after his Master had been greatly forgiving to him. Jesus makes the point, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother (or sister) from your heart”.

Nothing is ever hidden from our all-seeing Lord. Nothing is private from God. The same point is made to the people through Jeremiah. God sees all and the people “trust in deceptive words to no avail” (7:8). Our world is full of “deceptive words”. God sees that their motives are self-centred and no compassion is being shown – Jeremiah is not even to pray for them (verse 16).

In 2 Samuel 1 we read how an Amalekite gets hold of Saul’s crown after he dies and brings it to David expecting praise and a reward. He falsely claims he had killed the badly wounded king. David, distressed at news of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, reacts in a godly way, and the Amalekite, instead of receiving honour is put to death. “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed? … Your blood be on your own head” (verses 14,16).

There is a parallel lesson in Jeremiah; “This is a nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished …” (verse 28). And today? It is clear that our world fails to see that nothing can be hidden from the eyes of the Creator!

And for us? Truth must not perish “from (y)our heart” – rather we should rejoice that we not only possess the truth in God’s word, but we show it by the way we live. It must possess us, because we know that one day God will act so that all the world becomes aware that “nothing … is hidden” – and all lies and deception will be exposed in God’s kingdom.