Wednesday, October 14, 2009


TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES WAS A GAME WE USED TO PLAY AS KIDS. And of course it also was a television show during the "golden days" of TV. But as I read this coming week's sermon text (John 18:1-40) and contemplated the words of Pontius Pilate, "What is truth?" (John 18:38), I was reminded that it is not truth or consequences, but rather truth and consequences.

Pilate's question was of course a good question, one that has been asked in one form or another since God inquired about the truth of who ate the fruit from the tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Parents and philosophers, pastors and potentates have been seeking the answer to the question for millennia, and it's answer seems always elusive. It's answer seems determined by season or circumstance, or at least by the need of the moment. And so we continue to ask, "What is truth?"

Even as theologians we try to answer that eternal question. We try to nail it down into some propositional form. And just when we think we have an answer for the ages, somebody changes the question ever so slightly, or some new "revelation" comes to light. (Just take the flat earth "truth" for example.) So what are we to do? Can we ever find the truth?

I believe we can.

The problem in discovering the truth comes from the fact that we see it as a propositional statement, a reality that can be measured. But the truth is the truth is not a thing, but a Person. And until we come to know that Person all other truth will leave us questioning. When Pilate was searching for the answer to his question, what he failed to realize was that the truth was standing right in front of him. Truth was on trial, and without Pilate's realization of the Truth that stood before him all his decisions, no matter how truthful, would fall short.

Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). This is the Truth we need. To know this Truth is to know the Truth that will set you free. (John 8:32) To not know this One who is the Truth is to place yourself in the face of dire consequences! This is the Truth the world needs to know. A truth that goes beyond determining the human genome, or finding the "god-particle." It is a truth that brings us true life, a forgiven, reconciled life.

The one Truth that will set us free!
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