Friday, January 25, 2008

Jesus is the Truth

Each one of us is on a quest to discover truth. Some people pursue truth more actively than others, but everyone wants to make sense of life. I think the majority of people try to ignore the quest by immersing themselves in jobs, hobbies, and entertainment, but God doesn’t allow us to always ignore the truth and there will come a time when we are forced to ask the great questions of life: Why am I here? Is there more to life? Is there a God? Does life exist after death? What is truth? The inquisitiveness of our spirits will take us on a quest to discover answers.

The great problem we have in this pursuit is that we are looking for the wrong thing. We are looking for data, facts, or knowledge. We want to have a list to reproduce for others or simple sound bytes that neatly answer the questions that we have. That is not what truth is. Truth isn’t found in facts and data, but truth is a person. Consider what Erwin McManus wrote in Soul Cravings:
“The less you trust in someone, the less likely you are to commit. The more you trust someone, the easier it is to commit you life to that one.

“This is one reason why the approach of Jesus resonates so powerfully with my soul. Jesus didn’t come advocating a better idea. While history is filled with great teachers, being the best of them was never Jesus’ goal or ambition. He never said to his disciples, ‘This is the truth. Follow it.’ Instead, he said something far more compelling. Jesus’ claim was nothing less than ‘I am the truth.’

“Jesus moves truth from impersonal to personal.

“He moved it from rational to relational. He was telling his disciples the truth isn’t an answer; it is a person. You don’t come to know the truth as a result of an academic pursuit. You might discover an endless number of things that are true along the way, but that is not the truth your soul is craving. No matter how many true things you come to know, they will never leave you satisfied until you find your way to the One who is the very source of truth.

“Jesus didn’t come to show us a better way or point us to a better life, but instead invites us to know him as the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. If all God wanted was to make sure that we knew the truth, Jesus didn’t have to come. It would have been more than enough to carve commandments from stone or to have scribes pen the pages of the Scriptures. But as sacred as I might hold the Law of Moses or the words of the prophets or the writings of the apostles, they are simply not enough. It’s simply not enough to know what is true. We need far more than that.

“We need to know the One who is true. Jesus walked among us not so that he could get to know us but so that we could come to know him. God himself stepped into human history so that we would know that he is not only the source of truth, but that he is utterly and completely trustworthy.” (Meaning; Entry 17:You’ve Gotta Know Who to Trust)

There is no short supply of people willing to tell us the truth. What I have discovered is that what we accept as true depends a lot on how we interpret the evidence, data, or facts that are put in front of us. The books and teachers that we accept us being logical and truthful are those people whom will support the way we look at the world. There is no such thing as true objectivity. Everyone of us will evaluate evidence and facts based on our world view. Not even science, which depends on interpretation of evidence, is totally objective. A totally academic search for truth will lead us to conflicting truth claims (based on people's interpretation of evidence), and in the end we discover that we are no better off than when we started. "Truth" becomes whatever fits our opinion about the world the best.

Here is what I have discovered on this journey to know truth: the more I have followed Jesus the more life has made sense. Most of the universe, God included, remains a mystery to me. If you asked me to explain how salvation works I couldn’t do it. I realize there is no good explanation for the Trinity. There are things I read in the Bible I just don’t understand. So if our search of truth is about finding answers and facts I would have to admit that my quest has been a failure. I think now I have more questions than answers.

On the other hand I have never had a better understanding of the world that we live in or a greater hope for the entire creation as I do right now. As I have placed my trust in Jesus I have come to see myself and the world differently. I have a greater appreciation for who God is and what He has done. While I don’t have the answers I do know the Truth and how that Truth should affect my life. Truth isn’t found in answers, but Truth is found in a person, and His name is Jesus Christ.

When we make our quest for truth purely intellectual we miss out on experiencing the truth in our lives. I personally believe that many people miss out on experiencing the truth because they are not willing to follow Jesus. They may be willing to go to church, read the Bible, pray, and even lead a moral life. They are not willing to sacrifice, to make changes, to step out of their comfort zone, and to live in mystery. So while they might believe in God for a while, they don’t really have faith. If God came to them, like He did to Abraham, and told them to leave their home to go to a land where He would show them, they would respond, “Where are you taking me?” They wouldn’t go because God wouldn’t answer their question. They have no true trust in God. The more we live by faith the more faith we will have. Our trust in God grows through the experience of living faithful lives.

If you are having doubts about Jesus and Christianity my suggestion to you is not to look for answers in books, but to step out in faith. Be honest with God, tell Him you are not sure if He exists, but that you are willing to take a step of trust. Then do that thing you are struggling with God about. Give a little extra to some charity or church. Start to struggle with a sin you have come to accept in your life. Be friendly to that annoying guy at work. For two weeks pray about it and do your best to do it and see what happens. You may not get your answer, but I am willing to bet you will know God better and realize that He can be trusted. The truth we need in life is only found in Jesus. As we follow Him we are given the truth that we need to live.

  • Point to Ponder: Truth isn’t found in answers, but Truth is a person, and His name is Jesus Christ.
  • Passage to Remember: John 14:6
  • Question to Consider: What is God asking you to do that requires you to trust Him?

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