Let me start with some fats about truth, first it is very rare we tell the whole truth all the time and we don’t do it for many reasons. Truth can be quite difficult to tell when we know what we say will upset people or we know it won’t be accepted as truth anyway, but when the time is right we do need to be strong in telling the truth. Consider the quote from Martin Luther:- We are not only responsible for what we say but also for what we do not say.
When it comes to our relationship with people even about our thinking about God we should not be defensive nor inhibited. A lie often means we cannot trust the person we are speaking to whereas truth means you can.
Christians believe that Jesus told the truth but that doesn’t mean he only said things people wanted to hear, when he was questioned he often told the priests things they didn’t like, such as they were hypocrites, not living to God’s ways, wanting to be thought of as important. Sometimes just like Jesus one has to be brutal and lay the truth on the line.
To illustrate truth I’m using 42 extracts from John’s gospel about quotes Jesus gave and it’s significant that Jesus wanted us to know he was speaking the truth. In the King James bible, he was translated as saying 25 times Verily, verily I say unto you, this shows he not only was telling the truth but also how important it was to him and therefore it should be important to us. As we need to know the truth it’s far better you hear Jesus’ words than mine, which is why I using so many of his quoted saying.
When being intimidated by questioning Jesus didn’t deal in platitudes or trivialities, he told it as it was, not shying away from telling people the truth. Irrespective of who he was speaking to in village, town, city or at the Temple his teachings are to be trusted for he was The Word of God and taught it. His comments on truth cover 8 areas and is first expressed stating his life had a direction and a purpose all highlighted in the first few verses John
The coming of Jesus
John 1:1 & 14 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and lived among us. We saw the glory of the Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 8:58 Later Jesus bears this out saying “the truth is before Abraham was born, I am!”
Jesus’ purpose was to bring God’s ways to the priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and the people
John 1:17 – For although the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus who is the Messiah.
John 18:37 – Jesus tells Pilate the reason he was born was to testify to the truth.
Jesus lived and taught the ways of God, for his purpose was to bring us into God’s Kingdom bring us the Word of God to guide us the way we ought to live. Jesus was born with all the attributes of God’s Word and once we accept Jesus as Lord we can know God’s Spirit and his truth in us. From that point on we need to acknowledge and live by that truth and in doing so witness Jesus is our Saviour
Jesus tell us he speaks with God’s spirit, we need to accept the truth and therefore him
John 3:11 The truth is we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
John 3:33 Whoever has accepted my testimony has certified that God is truthful.
John 13:20 The truth is whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
We need to be sure we are accepting Jesus for the right reasons for he tells the crowd he fed
John 6:26 you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
And the right reason in making Jesus our Lord is in acknowledging he is The Son of God, and so accept his teachings are from God and are the right way to live.
Jesus acknowledges God, as his father
John 5:19 Jesus states, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
John 6:32 Jesus reminds the Jews that it was not Moses who gave them the bread from heaven, but it was his Father who gave them the true bread from heaven.
John 17:17 In Jesus’ prayer to his father he asks for his followers to be sanctify by the truth; for his father word is truth.
As followers of Jesus what does he expect from us?
John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
John 6:53 Jesus told his disciples that unless they eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, they have no life in them.
John 8:32 Later he tells his followers, if you hold to my teaching then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 14:12 Again Jesus states, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
John 7:18 He warns the people that whoever speaks on their own, does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
John 3:21 Stating those who live by the truth come into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Thing not to do
John 10:1 In the parable of the Good Shepherd and His Sheep he tells the Pharisees, that there is only one correct way to enter God’s presents which is through his guidance.
John 8:34-44 He tells them they sin and are therefore a slave to sin and belong to their father, the Devil, wanting to carry out their father’s desires. For the Devil was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 13:16 Jesus emphases no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him so we should not teach beyond his teaching
This is what the Temple priests were doing at the time and as followers of God’s Word we must ourselves be careful not to go beyond what Jesus teaches.
Jesus the prophet and teacher
John 8:40-46 Jesus foresees they are looking for a way to kill him, because he told them he heard the truth from God. Yet because he told the truth, they did not believe him!
He asked if any could prove him guilty of sin. Then said, if I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?
John 13:21 & 38. Before events occur Jesus predicts what will happen, first someone would betray him, then to Peter that he will disown him three times! And both did happen.
John 16:20 He told his disciples that when he is put to death they will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. They will grieve, but their grief will turn to joy.
John 18:23. At his first trail Jesus was hit and he asked, if I said something wrong, tell me what it was, yet if I spoke the truth, why hit me?
From this we can be sure that even when we tell the truth we will not always be believed, we should expect disbelief, rejection, even physical or mental abuse, but don’t take it to heart, for God will hear the truth and it is him we need to be true to. However some people will react and want to know more about the truth Jesus taught.
Jesus goes on to tell about God’s Spirit
John 16:7 I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
John 15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, he will testify about me.
John 14:17 The world cannot accept the Spirit of truth, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16:23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything for my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
When we accept Jesus is telling us the truth we can then make him Our Lord and from that we can accept the present of God’s Spirit is given to us so we too might know The Truth through knowing God’s Word.
Jesus tells of being with the Father it’s our reward for accepting him as our Saviour
John 1:51 Telling us we will see “heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
John 3:3-5 teaching that, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again and no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
John 5:24 Stating whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
John 5:25 That a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
John 6:47 and again he gives the same message, the one who believes has eternal life.
John 8:51 then stating that whoever obeys my word will never see death.
John 10:7 for I am the gate for the sheep and you are my sheep.
John 14:6 Jesus declared, I am the way and the truth and the life and no-one goes to the Father except through me.
Putting all this together we can trust Jesus is the Son of God who spoke the truth, who came to teach us God’s ways so we would make Jesus Our Lord and Saviour. We are to live according to God’s Word by witnessing Jesus in how we live, accepting God’s Holy Spirit as our guide in what we do and in making him our Lord we will be going to heaven and we will be with him eternally.