There is an obsession about the truth. We see it everywhere. Everyone wants to know the truth, and the reason why is because it is so hard to find.
The world today is filled with “spin doctors” who often have a very loose relationship with the truth. They seek instead to make a bad situation or an outright lie seem palatable and acceptable. They use “weasel words” to hedge around a subject so that the truth cannot be easily discerned.
Many people have a vested interest in hiding the truth. They claim it is for good reasons, but it is probably more about covering their own backsides.
And then there are those who live by the adage from the film, “A Few Good Men,” where the Jack Nicholson character uttered those famous words, “You can’t handle the truth!”
A great question
One of the most insightful quotes from the Bible concerning the truth came from Pontius Pilate. It applies even more today than it did two thousand years ago, especially in the light of the points mentioned above.
While examining Jesus, Pilate asked, “What is truth?”
It’s a good question and many have attempted to answer it. To some the truth is about perception. Truth is what you perceive it to be. The saying, “Perception is reality,” is the catch-phrase of this line of thought.
But is perception really the truth?
In my working life I had to do many investigations of industrial incidents and accidents. One thing I discovered is that eye-witness accounts could differ wildly from person to person. So much so that it was often unreliable or it took many viewpoints to form a basis for the investigation.
People see what they want to see. Perception may be THEIR reality, but it is often not the truth.
So, if there is an absolute truth, where is it? Where can the REAL truth be found?
Absolute truth requires a standard by which all things can be measured. Such a standard should be able to categorically and unequivocally show that “This is the truth,” and, “That is NOT the truth.”
There is always going to be an absolute truth in every situation. A truth that is clear, obvious, and incontrovertible.
But where will the absolute truth be found?
The only real and incontrovertible truth rests with God in Jesus Christ. To seek the truth without looking at Jesus is an exercise in futility.
He proclaimed the truth of why we exist, how all things were made, why they were made, and what comes next in both life and death. Anything else apart from these things is really pointless.
"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John chapter 8, verses 31-32)
This is one of the most powerful statements in the Bible. Lies lead only to bondage and imprisonment. When holding on to a lie, it must be followed by more and more lies to prevent it being found out. This becomes a house of cards because the web of lies cannot be maintained and it will come crashing down.
But the truth will make you free. Speak the truth and there is no need for deception.
Furthermore, the truth of Jesus Christ leads to life with God as we please Him in all we say and do.
Truth and life
Jesus made it abundantly clear that truth and life are connected when He said,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John chapter 14, verse 6)
If we seek life now, as well as the eternal life offered to those who follow Jesus Christ, then we must seek the truth. And Jesus is the truth. He is also the “way” by which we can come to the Father and so receive the gift of life.
What is truth?
But this brings me back again to the question asked by Pontius Pilate. What is truth?
If we are to seek life we need to do so through Jesus Christ because He is the “Way.” We can only seek the “Way” by seeking the truth for the truth is the way to the “Way.”
Fortunately, Jesus tells us quite clearly what the truth is that we need to seek and follow.
The word of God
“Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.” (John chapter 17, verse 17)
Here is the penultimate statement of what is the truth.
The word of God is the truth.
If we are to find the absolute truth, then we must listen to the word of God. Jesus is the Word and the giver of the truth, as the Father said at the transfiguration;
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Matthew chapter 17, verse 5)
If you want the REAL truth, listen to Jesus. Immerse yourself in the word of God and you will find the truth that sets you free and discerns between right and wrong. That is a promise from God that you can count on.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375