Jannes and Jambres

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 2 Timothy 3: 8-9

We are living in perilous times and one almost always has to question and find different versions before settling for one’s truth. Fake news and disinformation is the order of the day and reality isn’t always clear. The internet, of course only exacerbates the problem and depending on who you follow, you and I could have opposite versions of the same matter, begging the question, “What is the truth?” If only things were right or wrong. True or false. Black or white!

Today however, my question was, “Who are Jannes and Jambres?”. I was reading the book that is the source of my truth. But how come I have never heard of these fellows? I thought I knew the story of Moses! You know, the helpless baby found floating in a basket on the River Nile by Pharaoh’s daughter? Brought up as an Egyptian Prince, later turned Pharaoh’s foe? The guy of the burning bush who delivered the Hebrews out of slavery? Not forgetting the plagues and parting of the Red Sea. The ten commandments. Oh! I even know his brother was Aaron and sister Miriam (I forget the parents’ names though). Who are these guys being associated with Moses?

Anyway, as any good student should do when faced with a challenge, I looked up Jannes and Jambres – thank God for the internet despite its fake news! By the way, I wish I was a student in this internet era! With just a click, you get so much information from varying sources than you know what to do with. It is a whole world of knowledge and my search for Jannes and Jambres did not disappoint.

Apparently, these guys were the Egyptian magicians/ sorcerers that tried to outdo Moses during the plagues. Paul who wrote the passage I was reading today must have been a pretty good Torah scholar to bring up their names even though Moses failed to mention them when he wrote the earlier account. Anywho, they were able to mimic the plagues of the bloody river and frogs but for some reason they were defeated by gnats (or lice) and could do no more. You might wonder, like I did, why they couldn’t manage gnats but their failure was such a let-down for Pharaoh who, out of frustration, eventually agreed to let the Hebrews go.

With that body of knowledge, I could now relate the fake news to Jannes and Jambres. These type of people are just hot air with no substance – they just create distractions from the real story, the truth. More like the ultracrepidarians I wrote about here. They will seem to be winning for a while, but their luck will eventually run out. Woe unto those who believe them! Woe unto you if you are a Jannes of Jambres! What you gonna do when there’s gnats all over?

My friend, do not wait for when your folly will be clear to everyone. Find the truth. There is only one truth, the One who says, “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. Follow Him. Forget the likes of Jannes and Jambres!

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