Jesus is the truth
June 8, 2009
by Rev. Michael Nirva, St. James Lutheran Church, Howard Lake

The Word of the Lord: John 8:31-32: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

When Pontius Pilate shrugged his shoulders and asked, “What is truth?” (John 19:38), Pilate was not looking for an answer. It was the question of a man who had long since given up on the hope of ever finding what was true.

The world today is filled with many Pontius Pilates. The average person on the street has been duped and fooled so often over the span of a lifetime, they have been left standing with the empty bag so repeatedly, that they have been tempted to come to the conclusion that, after all, there is no such thing as truth – and they are going to give up their search for something that exists only in the realm of the imagination.

It is only natural that this state of mind has been carried over into the area of religion. For a church today to claim that it preaches and teaches the truth is to invite the charge of narrowness, of bigotry, and of ignorance. The truth in things religious, we are told, is unknowable.

Into this age of doubt and confusion, into this age without a teacher, this age without truth, comes the voice of Jesus Christ as He speaks to us: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

In spite of the loud and insistent claims of the world to the contrary, the truth in matters of religion is, in fact, known. The truth is found in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3), and “In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9). Jesus came down to earth to declare and proclaim the truth which He Himself claimed to be, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

The fundamental truths for which the human heart is searching: the truth about God, the truth about humanity, about life and death and heaven and hell, these truths say Jesus can be known. Indeed, they are known. Knowing the gospel of the love of God in Jesus Christ, our Lord, will make us free. This truth is our great salvation.

The gospel tells us of the Savior’s love, the Savior’s death, and the Savior’s resurrection for the salvation of a world lost in sin. We needed this redemption because, by nature, we are under the curse of sin, death, and the power of the devil – unable to purchase our freedom and unable to return to our Father in Heaven.

But the Word of truth tells us of a completed redemption, a completed salvation, won through Jesus’ blood – of forgiveness, peace, and pardon – of an eternal freedom from the fear of death, and of an opened heaven. Knowing this truth, our souls are free indeed.

When we believe the truth of the gospel message, our salvation is secure and our lives are complete. Then, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.