“What is truth” said Pontius Pilate

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14.6

“… the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18.37

From Martin Hayward:

One of the casualties of our modern lifestyle is truth; plain, simple, objective truth that portrays the facts as they really are.

We can all have different perspectives of what is true – I describe an elephant as an animal which is grey in colour; you say it has four legs and a trunk; your daughter chips in that it is very, very large;  and your wife comments on its high intelligence. All of these things are true and usefully add to our overall picture of what an elephant is. But problems start in the moment that your young son tells you that some elephants are pink with big green spots; he knows it to be true because he saw a picture in his bedtime story book.

Our modern society is so keen to value everyone’s opinion that it will tolerate the off-the-wall as being of equal value to the objectively correct. Before you know where you are, schoolbooks will be teaching that some elephants are pink with green spots and so it must be a fact! But truth does not alter because false facts are accepted by, even, the majority of people.

I read about a class who were shown a jar full of marbles. The students were asked to guess how many marbles there were in the jar, and then to jot down their estimates. After that they were asked to write a list of their favourite songs. When the lists were complete, the actual number of marbles in the jar was revealed and everyone looked over their guesses to see who was closest to being right. Turning to the list of favourite songs they were then asked, “And which one of these is closest to being right?”. The students protested that there was no “right answer”; a person’s favourite song is purely a matter of taste.

Is faith more like guessing the number of marbles, or more like choosing your favourite song? Is faith based on fact, opinion, or personal taste?  Truth does not alter because of a majority vote.

Jesus rarely worked a miracle without first looking for trust from the one who asked to be healed – a reliance and confidence that he was telling the truth about his ability to do all he claimed he could do. To the woman who touched his cloak and ceased to haemorrhage, he reassured that, “it’s your faith that has made you well; go in peace” (Mark 4.40).

Do you – do I – have sufficient trust that Jesus was telling the truth for us to base our eternal future in him? Or will we be swayed by a majority vote?

Published by St Patrick's Church

We are a friendly Anglican church in the centre of the community of South Wallington. At the heart of our church is the wonderful news that God loves us and has demonstrated that love in the most incredible way through Jesus' life, death and victory over death. Thank you for engaging with our blog, we hope and pray it is a blessing to you.

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