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Faith Article - What is Truth?

Matthias Stomer (c.1600 - 1652)

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate…

How the world needs, aches for – truth!

Abimelek was a God-fearing man, but Abraham assumed the opposite and so he lied to him. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, (led on by a scheming mother) lied to get his twin brother’s birthright. Later, his sons deceived him into believing that their brother, Joseph, was dead… On it went… Does this sound like a TV soap?

The first book of the Bible is full of liars and deceivers. Their long, murky shadow reaches as far as Revelation. We know about lies. We are lied to - with smiles and sweetness, with youth and age, with faces oozing sincerity.

Many of us strive hard to be honest – but, frankly, deceit is instinctive. If we are honest with ourselves we know that we are capable of deliberate deception. Perhaps you are surprised by your ability to deceive and by others’ willingness to believe your smiles and sweetness. Perhaps you are offended by such a suggestion. But pause a moment…

“I have no husband,” said the Samaritan woman drawing water from Jacob’s well at Sychar (modern Nablus, West Bank). It was true. Not the whole truth, though… so it was a lie.

And the rich ruler: devout, earnest. He thought he had done everything right – until Jesus pointed out his possessiveness. “Sell everything you have and give to the poor.” A challenge designed to show him the truth about himself. “When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.” Self-deception.

We can easily believe our own lies – about what we are really like, about our true abilities and limitations, about what we want God to be…

The Samaritan woman chose the wrong person to lie to. Jesus knew everything about her. He knows everything about you, about me. We can lie to ourselves and to others, but we cannot lie to God. What a relief! There are no barriers when you want to be honest with God.

“The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1)

“I (Jesus) am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14)

What is truth? Rather, who is truth? Jesus Christ is. Let the world listen to him!

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