Lord Jeffrey Archer of Weston-super-Mare, the famous novelist, became a life peer in 1992 on the recommendation of John Major, Prime Minister, largely because of his charity fund-raising role in aid of the Kurds – later the subject of controversy.
If the contents of Wikipedia regarding this former MP are correct then the facts put forward by this man about his life have rarely been correct and true. But he has maintained his version of facts and events. In 1987 he received a Court Award of £500,000 damages for libel – for “untruths” printed about him. But in 2001 Lord Archer was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice and jailed for 4 years – because the alleged libels were factually correct.
The Daily Telegraph wrote of him “If there were a Nobel Prize for story-telling, Archer would win.” Perhaps this was very carefully written. Even so, interestingly, it is the leading quotation about himself that Jeffrey Archer uses on his website to promote his highly entertaining novels......
Jeffrey Archer may not be the only person on earth who cannot see his real self.
Earlier this week President Assad of Syria and his British-born wife, Asma, arranged for attractive photographs of them voting in a sham ballot to be broadcast world-wide. How happy they are. Their photographs disclose, don’t they, how “right” they are – in their own eyes, in their own thoughts.
Are we all like these three people? Good question. And the answer that I give you immediately and quite definitely is “No!” “I’m not like that. “No!”
Take a look at the words in bold above. What about the Jerusalem chief priests around AD 32? Did they “see” clearly? Were they rational?
One thing they didn’t “see” clearly is obvious to us. Their plans to put Lazarus to death as well as Jesus (who had brought him to life after four days of decomposition in the grave) were not a dead-cert-solution to their own unpopularity. (Shades of President and Mrs Assad.)
The chief priests were certain that they were “seeing” clearly. They were intelligent, rational, well educated pillars of [Jerusalem] society. So is President Assad. So is Asma. So is Lord Archer. So are Jersey folk.
One of the biographers of Jesus Christ – John, a former partner in the family business in Galilee - was very much “in” with the Jerusalem leaders – he “was known to the high priest”. He was another pillar of society.
John includes a piece of the teaching of Jesus that none of us wish to take on board, that we all instantly reject. John knew it was very important to record it. Here it is. ‘Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” ’
Can this be true? That those who claim to “see” are not only blind but guilty also?
Here are some facts. Richard Syvret cannot see. He cannot see because his rationality is twisted and he doesn’t realise it. He thinks logically and morally. He is convinced that he is right. But he doesn’t and isn’t.
He isn’t right because the very claim that he “sees” (especially sees the failures and wrongs of others) is his own downfall, his own admission of guilt. His claim to see is a clear and unequivocal statement of his own self-sufficient pride. And his own self-orientation will have twisted his logic and his rationality – inevitably – in his own favour.
How many more examples need to stare him in the face before he will take notice? Like blind Bartimaeus, he needs to ask the Teacher “Rabbi, let me recover my sight” - the full sight that his Creator intended him to have.