Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, 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.
1 John 5:20
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
In the 1992 movie A Few Good Men, there is a famous courtroom scene in which the defense attorney says to the witness, “I want the truth!” To which the witness replies, “You can’t handle the truth!” In the 2003 movie Something’s Gotta Give, the main character says to the other main character, “I have never lied to you. I have always told you some version of the truth.” And she promptly corrects him: “The truth doesn’t have versions, okay?” Nowadays, she would get in trouble for that statement. We live in a world in which people talk about “their truth”, as if the truth were something everyone could define for herself or himself.
In fact, many people even deny that there is such a thing as truth. Look at Pilate’s sneering response to Jesus. But now comes Jesus, and not only does he say that there is such a thing as truth, but he also claims that he himself is the truth. The prophets always began their speeches with “thus says the Lord”. But Jesus, when he spoke, said “truly, I say to you”. He told those who believed in him, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Jesus prayed for his disciples, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). And as we saw a few weeks ago, at beginning of advent, Jesus is himself the Word.
As Jesus is our perfect priest, so also he is our perfect prophet. He reveals to us, by his Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation (WSC 24). We can handle the truth only because Jesus gives us his Spirit to enable us to believe and understand. We can trust his Word because his Word is truth. We can believe everything that Jesus tells us in his Word because he is the truth. We can build our lives upon the bedrock truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16). On Christ, the solid rock, we stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Ernest Hemingway, when he was having difficulty writing a story, would encourage himself by saying “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” Here is a true sentence: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Glory to God in the highest!
Thou art the Truth: thy Word alone
true wisdom can impart;
thou only canst inform the mind,
and purify the heart.
(George W. Doane)