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Wednesday, December 7, 2016


"What is truth?"
~ Pilate to Jesus

"Is it true, is it kind, or is it necessary?"
~ Socrates

"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
The Apostle Paul

Truth was important to Jesus. Numerous times (over 20) in the Gospel of John he mentions truth as perhaps the essence of his teaching.  On one occasion he tells his disciples, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (cha.8 vv. 31-32).  On his final night with his disciples he responds to a question from Thomas by saying, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to [God] except through me." (cha. 14. v. 6). And then before Pilate asks him the question quoted above, Jesus says, "For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." (cha.19. v. 37).

The truth of which Jesus speaks has little to do with verifiable realities we call facts.  The truth of the Jesus is an inner knowledge of values and virtues that hold creation together. Truth to Jesus is an umbrella for values like fidelity, compassion, justice, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and love that are lived with integrity. When we know and live these values we know truth, regardless of facts.

In today's world people are using and creating "facts" to manipulate public opinion. More and more we find ourselves in situations where what is being presented as fact just doesn't resonate with what we know deep inside to be the values of truth that Jesus teaches, practices, and invites us to live. 

I'm reminded of the tag line from the TV show The X Files:  "The Truth is out there..."  In our culture today it is more important than ever to seek truth. However, a more appropriate tag for us may be, "The Truth is in here - deep inside each and every heart."


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