A Pastor was once given a pie by a parishioner. It was bad. After one taste by the family members, it was quickly tossed in the garbage. But a few days later, as you would expect, the parishioner asked how he liked the pie. He responded, “A pie like that does not last long in our house.” Likewise, a husband was given a cake by his wife—it was also bad. When she asked him about it he said, “I must say this is the best cake I have ever eaten.” Both of these may be polite answers but they play pretty loose with the truth. The give a false impression to match our desired ends.
Jesus Claims To Bring Truth
In John 18 we see Jesus claiming to bring the truth: real truth. Here we are at the end of Jesus’ life and he tells us why he came to this world in the first place. Pilate did not get it because he may have known justice but he did not know truth. Jesus came to bring the truth, to be a witness to the truth. John’s gospel portrays truth as an absolute, a completion. John 1:17 reminds us that the Old Testament civil and ceremonial laws were not false but they find their completion in the grace and truth of Jesus.
The truth displayed by Jesus is not relative but absolute. It is what Francis Schaeffer liked to call “true truth”. Such an idea is not popular today. We are in a time more like the returning student visiting his old college. He saw one of the Philosophy Prof’s tests and realized it was the same test as 20 years ago. He asked, “Don’t you know that students pass the tests on?” The Philosophy Prof said, “Yes, but in philosophy, we keep changing the answers.”
God’s Nature is Truth
Jesus says in John 18 that he came to bring the truth—true truth. God’s nature is truth and that is why to hold to untruth is wrong; not just mistaken, but morally wrong. Such untruth contradicts the nature of God. Jesus not only testifies to the truth but he IS the truth (John 14:6). Jesus came to bring the truth because he is the truth.
This is why it is so dangerous in our day when people lie to promote their own causes whatever they may be. Even some in the church have treated truth as if it is an option. They say we should not worry about doctrine or theology. These things only divide us they say. Let’s just offer the simple gospel we are told. But let’s be careful. One person may enjoy the song Jesus Loves Me while another may be enjoying Handel’s Messiah. Both are fine but which person is getting to experience the richness and fullness of the music and the message? ‘Simple’ misses it. And yet so many Christians want only the simple, the easy, the mediocre, faith. Then they wonder why they struggle when the world gets difficult.
Following the Truth
Following the truth of Jesus is not always easy. It can get complicated and even get you into trouble in this world. Going deeper into the truth of Jesus may even raise more questions in your mind and keep you always wanting more. We are not really going to be satisfied in the world until Jesus returns, and we shouldn’t be. But, to paraphrase John Stewart Mill, it is better to be a dissatisfied human being than a satisfied pig. It is better to be a dissatisfied Socrates than a satisfied fool.
So don’t settle. Keep going deeper into the truth of Jesus. To demand only the simple from the Christian faith, to put up with the least we can do, be or know is to demand immaturity. It is to miss the richness and the depth and the brilliance of Jesus and the truth he brings. Jesus came not to reveal a truth, not some truth, to relative truth, but the truth; because he is the truth.
Freedom and Maranatha
You can learn more about Dr. Allyn Ricketts at https://www.bli4u.org/about/staff-faculty/allyn-ricketts-bio/