Jesus showed that he was a person of truth (John 7:16-18). And that by learning and putting into practice these ways of truth, we would know the Truth and this Truth would set us free. (John 8:31-32). What Truth? The Truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one finds Life except in the True Way of Jesus. (John 16:13).
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!” (John 14:6).
I’m clear on what Jesus meant by being the Way and the Life. But I struggle a bit over what Jesus meant by being the Truth.
To borrow a famous question by Pontus Pilate: “What is Truth?”. (John 18:38).
Similarly, what did Jesus mean when he said we should “worship in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24 KJV)?
Once again, I’m clear about what Jesus meant by worshiping in Spirit. But I struggle a bit over what Jesus meant by worshiping in Truth.
Many volumes of philosophy and theology have struggled over the existence and meaning of truth. So I am in good company in my struggles to understand what Jesus meant by the word “Truth”.
Here are some insights that help me in my struggles.
Worshiping in Truth aligns with God’s views on true fasting found in Isaiah:
[O]n the day of your [false] fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
Is not this the kind of [true] fasting I have chosen:
to loosen the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked to clothe them
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Worshiping in Truth means reconciling with others.
Jesus told us that, if we are worshiping, and we remember that anyone has something against us, we should stop worshiping. “First go and be reconciled with them.” Then go back to worshiping. ((Matthew 5:23-24).
Jesus showed us what he meant by true worship when he challenged false worship at the Temple—worship that was led astray by the lies of the Power of Money, the lies of the Power of Religion, and the lies of the Power of the Kingdoms of the World. (see my blog “Jesus Climbs the Temple Mount”).
Jesus denounced and disrupted this corrupt system of corrupt worship that increased the wealth of businesses, the authority of religious rulers, and the tyranny of the Roman Empire.
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers” (Matthew 21:12-13).
In these ways, Jesus showed that he was indeed a person of truth (John 7:16-18). And that by learning and putting into practice these ways of truth, we would know the Truth and this Truth would set us free. (John 8:31-32).
Free from what?
Free from lies:
—free from the lies of the Power of Money (Matthew 4:3-4; 13:22).
—free from the lies of the Power of Religion (Matthew 4:5-7; 20:25-28).
—free from the lies of the Power of the Kingdoms of the World (Matthew 4:10; 16:26).
But most important, the Truth about Jesus lights the world, setting us free from all the lies of Darkness—the lies of the devil who is the father of all lies and who has no truth in him. (John 8:42-47).
The Devil is our adversary. The Devil accuses us. He prosecutes us. (Job 1:7-11; Job 2:2-5; Revelation 12:10).
The Spirit of Truth is our Advocate—our defense attorney—the Spirit of Truth who is sent by the Father to testify about Jesus (John 15:26).
Jesus promises us that this Spirit of Truth will guide us into all Truth, including the Truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one finds Life except in the True Way of Jesus. (John 16:13).
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
What are the lies of the Power of Money?
What are the lies of the Power of Religion?
What are the lies of the Power of the Kingdoms of the World?
What are the lies of Darkness?
What is the Truth of Jesus that sets us free? Free from what?
Please read my other blogs related to the Way of Jesus (and the blogs referenced by them): “The Way of Jesus: The Nones”, “The Way of Jesus: Following the Way of the Wisdom That Follows the Way of the LORD”, and “The Way of Jesus: St. Francis of Assisi”.
For my additional thoughts about difficulties in “knowing” the “truth”, please read “Appendix 11: Doubts: Sunglasses and Shakespeare” in my book The Promised Land, at pages 205-207.