Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
We live in a day and age when truth is hard to come by. First, postmodernism has pretty much done away with the concept of truth being absolute. Truth is pretty much what you make it. It’s relative. There is your truth and my truth; not THE truth. Even biblical truth is up to interpretation, and that’s within the church. Outside the church, truth is totally up to whatever information source you choose to listen to. There is truth on the right, and truth on the left, and conspiracy theories, and on the internet, literally hundreds of sources of information, hardly any of them verifiable. How can we even have a discussion when there is no central source of information we can trust or agree upon?
This is why, in a time like this, the words of Jesus come as such a refreshing contrast to what we see and experience around us — something solid — something we can know and count on. Not only does Jesus tell us we can know the truth, He tells us how we can. The knowledge of true truth comes from holding to the teaching of Jesus and becoming His followers. When we hold to His teaching, we know what to do. When we are His disciples, we have Him living inside us through His Holy Spirit guiding and empowering us.
And what is the teaching of Jesus? On one hand that’s a pretty big assignment. We’ve got His teaching spread out over four gospels in the New Testament. And yet, we have those teachings summed up into one statement. One statement which Jesus said if you get this, you get all the law and the prophets. And that is to love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do this, Jesus said, and you will know the truth, and more than that: the truth will set you free.
That’s the way to do it. Judge all truth by love — love of God and love of one another. Then we know what truth is and what truth does. Hold to this everybody. This is so important. Love.
Love your implication that the entire truth of the Bible seems to center around loving our neighbors as ourselves. I’ve often wondered if you sharpened the entire Bible down to a fine point or a single verse, if it wouldn’t be Matt. 7:12. Wonderful stuff John, keep up the good work!
Unfortunately, even the word ‘love’ has lost its substance. “Oh, I just LOVE your hair,” “I LOVE chocolate.” have watered down the meaning. When I say “I love you” to my husband, what does that mean? Or to anyone, for that matter. Is it the sappy kind of love that literally lets him get away with murder and make excuses for bad behavior? God made us in His image, so we are made to love and be loved. That means I have the utmost respect for my husband; I honor him by being the best wife I can be and helping him to be the man God created him to be. He does the same for me. And sometimes, that means saying the hard thing, which can lead to fireworks. But deep down, we know it’s in our best interests, with the best intentions. So we throw out the trash, clean up the house so to speak, and move on with our life. That’s the truth that Jesus brought into this marriage and it has been a blessing for 51+ years. God is surely good!