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Monday, June 25, 2012

What is Truth?

"What is truth?"

It is the question Pilate asked Jesus, just hours before Jesus' crucifixion (John 18:38).

Jesus had just said to him, "In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

"Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

Well, but what is truth?  Who defines it?

Is truth what we make of it?  Is it whatever we choose?  You have your truth, and I have mine, and we'll all get along.

Well, but maybe my truth is different from yours.  Maybe my truth says that nothing you say is true.
But what if your truth says that nothing I say is true?  What then?

We need something that defines truth.  Something that's not any of us, because we'll never come down to a solid answer on our own.

Jesus told his followers, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31).

Now we're getting somewhere.  If we hold to Jesus' teaching...we will know the truth.  What did Jesus teach?

The most important thing he said was this:
"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life."
-Jesus (John 3:16)
Jesus also said this:

"I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6)

There is the answer to Pilate's question.  What is truth?  Jesus is truth.  His teachings are truth.

But wait, there's one thing more.
Jesus=God.  (John 1:1-3)
God's teachings=Jesus' teachings.
God's teachings=Scripture ("God's Word").
Scripture=Jesus' teachings.
Jesus' teachings=truth.

What is truth?
Truth is every word found in God's Word: in the Bible.

Then this, too, is truth:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:8-10).

(Leaving you with something to perhaps make you smile.  Brad Stein is one of my favorite Christian speakers and comedians.  He has a lot of good things to say...including about truth.)

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  1. I love these words. It has only been recently that I have realized how important truth is in our lives. Thank you!

  2. Love this! Truth is so, so important to me on a personal level, especially!

  3. Jaimie, thank you for such a strong, well-written post about a topic that desperately needs to be addressed in our "whateverish" culture of no absolutes! I especially appreciate how you explained the relationship between Jesus and God the Father in terms of Their oneness and what truth means as a result.

    So often, people decide they like "Jesus' teachings" better if they only involve those words which are in red letters. But, that's not how it works! The Word made flesh was deeply behind every space of Scripture.

    Your discussion here reminds me of the approach that my good friend & mentor, Linda, took when she responded to a reader's comment on one of her blog posts.

  4. Good post and reminder. Thank you for sharing at WJIM.

  5. You did a great job with this Jaimie! Thanks for giving me the link!


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