THE NATURE OF TRUTH
Not “what are the facts?”, Not “what is the evidence?” This question is the most important question anyone could ever ask. It eliminates all of those aspects that cloud and potentially distract from what is vital.
After all, facts can be deceiving, evidence can be misleading, perspective are without number. Although these may seem sufficient to get to the truth, they are often historically misused and easily swayed to deviate away from the truth.
This is not to say that evidence and facts are not to be utilized for they must be used properly. But they are often insufficient to reach the desired end. We regularly discover that there is not enough trustworthy information to reach a conclusion with absolute certainty. New information can arise casting the older information into a totally new light.
It reminds me of the pastor who was confronted by his deacons one Sunday morning. The pastor had been seen alone with a woman that was not his wife on numerous occasions for weeks. There were pictures of him intimately embracing the woman at a restaurant and later outside a hotel. She was young, beautiful and very affectionate with him. They held hands, they held each other, they even exchanged kisses. There was so much evidence leading to the undeniable fact that this pastor was cheating on his wife that the church leaders demanded a confession. But when all was said and done, the pastor had one simple answer to the assembly of judges, which by this point even included his family: “She is my visiting younger sister who I had not seen for years!”
With one new fact, all the evidence was turned in the opposite direction. So too are facts and evidence easily and unexpectedly misdirecting.
Truth, on the other hand, is not open to interpretation or points of view. If we utilize opinion or perspectives we can come to many different conclusion. Judgements are always subjective to the judge. Only Jesus was able to, more than speak the truth, declare Himself to BE THE TRUTH.
Jesus Before Pilate
33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.. (The Gospel of John 18:33-38)
I am the Way, THE TRUTH and the Life
If this mans says “I am the Truth” and not “I have the truth” we must sincerely consider his claims.
This leaves Jesus in only one of three categories: A Liar, a Lunatic, or truth itself.
If he is lying then there is no point to consider him any further.
If he is a lunatic then we have even more reasons to discount Him all together.
But all the evidence, all the facts, all the perspectives, even those that came from his enemies lead us to face this question head on.
No one could point to one fault in him.
No one could deny His many public and private miracles.
Even the one asking the question and being pressured to condemn him, Pontius Pilate, had to declare “I find no fault in this man.”
From every angle of analysis we are again and again lead to ask, what is the truth about this man. But that is not a sufficient question when it comes to Him. All the evidence can lead to him being who he said he was, but only when we ask the question “what is truth?” are we at the very core of the argument.
If truth is only an issue of available facts than can only be reached through much study of evidence, we can fail, as the deacons in our story. But, If we let the facts lead to the truth, truth will itself clearly seen. There is only one clear conclusion about Jesus: He is who he said He is, The son of the Loving God. Don’t just believe this fact, Believe in Him!
THE BOTTOM LINE – THIS IS SALVATION
“You must believe.” To believe is to lay hold of the truth. to believe is more than being convinced of the truth. You may be convinced that Jesus is who he said he was: God. But to believe you must fully and completely apprehend Him as who he said he was. To believe requires FAITH – a divine gift from God himself. To believe in Jesus as the one and only person capable of knowing you and saving you from yourself and laying your whole life on that belief begins and ends with Faith.
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.