English Standard Version (ESV)
The truth can be an amazing force. Once it is allowed into the light of day, it can liberate people from all sorts of oppression, but it can also bring structures crashing down. If a way of life is built upon lies, when the truth finds the light of day, it can destroy the structure and those who depend upon it. Here, we see the leaders afraid of what Paul has to say. They're counting on the Romans to squash this rebellious movement, and they'll say and do anything if it means someone else will take care of their problems. They're not afraid to hide behind a lie, because they believe that will secure their place.
What they don't realize is how convicting the truth can be. In the same way, we often hide from God. We tell God half-truths about our intentions, forgetting that God can see through our actions to our motives. God sees our hearts, and he knows how flawed we are.
The beautiful thing about grace is that our true identities is not something God turns from. No, God sends his Truth to liberate us, to reveal a greater truth -- that God loves us and wants us to be free from sin. We can hide from it, as the leaders are doing here, in the hopes that it won't disturb our lives, or we can embrace it, allowing it to tear down the unhealthy structures that imprison us and set us free to live in the light of grace and peace and truth and love. That's our choice -- but once we accept Christ as Savior and King and allow him to rule our lives, it won't be easy -- it might even hurt a little, but the end of the journey of faith is a wondrous place if we are willing to let Christ lead us there.