John 18:37-38 “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked.
Pilate was very much a man of the 21st Century, despite having lived so long ago. In recent decades the devil has been remarkably successful in tearing down the very idea of absolute truth, so that people speak of “my truth” and “your truth.” That’s a good way to destroy not only individuals but society itself. In this passage the Japanese brings out something that I feel is very important. It says, “Those who belong to the truth listen to me and obey.” That “listen and obey” is a fairly standard expression in Japanese, but it couldn’t be more appropriate to what Jesus says here. As James pointed out, if we just hear and fail to obey we are deceiving ourselves. (James 1:22) Also, the Japanese care a lot about belonging, being part of a group, so it is very meaningful that Jesus says, “belong to the truth.” Far too many church members give God’s truth lip service, but really belong to the world. Their decisions aren’t predicated on what God says, but on what the world approves. That is sad indeed. Passion Week is an excellent time to examine ourselves to see if we really belong to the truth. Do we really love Jesus, that is, do what He tells us? (John 14:21, 23) Do we stand firm in what He has said, regardless of what the world around us is saying? Do we recognize the lies of the devil, despite people’s claims that they are truth? God is faithful, and He will indeed lead us into His truth if that is our commitment, our heart. (John 14:26)
It really tears me up to hear people I care deeply about say things like “his truth” or “their truth.” We belong to the truth; the truth doesn’t belong to us! The world insists that it is conceit to claim that we know an absolute truth and someone else doesn’t, but that is the devil’s attempt to destroy the Gospel and enslave people to him. Jesus’ promise is, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) I cannot be an instrument of setting people free if I fail to speak the truth to them in love. That isn’t pride, it’s a heartfelt desire to get people out of the devil’s chain gang that is headed for hell. My life is to be an example of truth. I am to deceive no one, even if the truth isn’t “politically correct.” “White lies” aren’t white! My lifestyle is to be such that people know that if I say something it’s true. Of course humor and jokes are a separate category, but they are never to be for the purpose of deception. People should know that I belong to the truth, because I listen to Jesus and obey Him.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the many opportunities You give me to speak truth to people. May it indeed always be in Your love, drawing them to You and not repelling them, so that they too may repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!