‘Post-truth’ has been named the 2016 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. Defined as “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
Sorry, but “Post-truth” has met its match! Jesus “The Truth” wins! Every time! It is a non-sense when people start talking about Post-truth and take more notice of their feelings than they do of facts. Feelings are very changeable and are subject to environmental situations and pre-conditioned thinking and attitudes. Just watch a cricket match on TV and a scan of the spectators shows people watching the same incident can have wildly different feelings. The batsman lofts the ball over the boundary for six runs to win the game. Some folk are immediately jumping excitedly into the air whist others around them burst into tears. Same incident. Differing responses, reactions and feelings. But the official scorer for the game writes the stroke down as a six. Fact! The facts are added up and the team with the better score wins the game. That fact is reported on the TV and in the next day’s papers. Feelings whether positive or negative about the game do not alter the fact that one side won and the other side lost. Fact, not fiction! The same goes for sporting contests in other nations. Wins are recorded as facts, as reality, no matter what one feels about the contests observed. No matter how strongly people may feel about their team, if they lost the game, their feelings cannot alter the fact that they lost.
But what is “truth?” That was the question that the governor Pontus Pilate asked when confronted with the person of Jesus, “What is truth?” He had before him someone in whom he could find no guilt who had been healing those in need. Yet some leaders from His own religious background wanted Him killed. What is truth if so-called religious people are wanting to kill an innocent man? Eventually he gave in to the insistent demands and allowed Jesus to be crucified. What Pilate did not realise (and what a lot of people in today’s world do not realise) was that Pilate was looking at The Truth. Incarnate in Jesus. Pilate became a “people pleaser” not a God pleaser as he made his decision to hand Jesus over to His enemies.
In what way is Jesus “The Truth?” He is the truth in several ways. We look briefly at some of those ways.
First of all He is the truth about God
- When people saw Him they were seeing God manifest in the flesh. As He Himself said, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” Jn 14:9-10. To observe the character of Jesus was to see the character of God revealed in human flesh.
- He is the truth about the activity of God in His world. As those previous words from Jn 14:10 put it, when people heard the teaching of Jesus they were hearing the voice of God through Him. The words had God’s authority. The words had originated in God Himself but were spoken through Jesus.
- When people saw Jesus perform His miracles they were witnessing God Himself working through Jesus, “but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” Jn 14:10.
Secondly, He is the truth about creation (the origin of the universe)
Jesus existed from eternity and was responsible for creation. Jn 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
He came as light into the world He had made but His own people rejected Him, Jn 1:9 “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”
Jesus is the Creator and the Sustainer of the whole universe, Col 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Jesus is the Son of God who created the world and is the heir of all things. He sustains the universe He has made which is His inheritance from the Father, Heb 1:1 “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
Thirdly He is the truth about humans
- He humbled Himself to become a human, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
- He lived as a human, yet without sinning, Heb 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
- God worked through Jesus in His role as a human, Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.” (Paul said of his own ministry and that of Peter that God worked through them, “(for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles”). Gal 2:8. God at work though human instruments. Jesus humbled Himself to live and minister as a human as He allowed God to minister through Him..
Fourthly He is the truth about the way to God
- He described Himself as the Only way to the Father. As he said to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”Jn 14:6.
- He is described as the new and living way into the presence of God, Heb 10:19-20, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh.”
- The whole movement of those who had faith in Him came to be called “the Way” in the book of Acts. Eg., Act_9:2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Act_19:9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. Act_19:23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. Act_22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, Act_24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, Act_24:22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.”
- Not only was Jesus The Way but He was the ONLY way to the Father.
Fifthly, He is the truth about the future judgment of the world.
Not only is Jesus described as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe but He is also seen to be the One who ultimately judges the world.
- He will be the judge of all people as the following verses indicate. “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son.” Jn 5:22. AND Jn_5:27 “And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” AND Acts 10:42 “And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.” AND Acts 17:31 “because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” AND 2Cor 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” AND 2Tim 4:1 “ I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom.” God’s truth about Jesus? He will judge the world!
- All will be judged according to their obedience to the truths Jesus proclaimed, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” Jn 5:24. AND “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” Jn 12:48. Ignoring Jesus and His words is spiritual suicide when He has clearly encouraged us to take Him seriously. Or else!
- All will be judged according to their attitude to Him, Jud 1:14 “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Jesus was and is The Truth. He spoke the Truth. All will be judged by their attitude to the truth He proclaimed.
So we need to get back to reality and recognise that there are absolutes in this world. Life is not just about feelings, even though they are important. We need to recognise that there is a Creator and His name is Jesus.
There is a Messiah, an Anointed One, a Christ, a Saviour named Jesus who brings forgiveness and eternal life to all who trust Him. But to ignore Him as The Truth and to ignore His teachings by failing to recognise that they are eternal truths from God, leads to judgment, not life.
“Post-truth?” Is no-truth. It is unreality. Those who rely on feelings instead of looking at the facts are running away from reality. It is non-sense in a world made by a Creator who has a plan and purpose for the world and for the people in it. He wants them all to be His friends and to live in a close living relationship with Him. But He has warned us through Jesus that Jesus is the only Way, the ultimate Truth and the only One who can bring life to a spiritually dead world. In the words of the most well-known verse in the Bible in John 3:16 the facts are these, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” People are perishing. But God gave His Son so that those who trust Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life will not perish but have eternal life.
The philosophy of “Post Truth” may be attractive to many. If there is no truth because we are “post truth” then I am free to do as I please. I cannot be judged to be in the wrong or to have done wrong because there is no truth by which to judge me. If however there is such a thing as truth (especially absolute truth as there is in Jesus) then I am accountable to live by that truth. As Jesus said we will all be judged by the truth of His words. As creatures of a Creator we have the incredible privilege of being able to know and to love our Creator. But we also have the corresponding responsibility of humbling ourselves before Him and living in obedience to Him and to the truth He proclaimed!
“Post-truth” trumped by “The Truth” in 2016 and every year! Because Jesus, The Truth, is alive in His world to help us. But He is coming soon to judge the world. He is incomparable! But He is also inescapable in His real world! No matter what one “feels” about Him or His truth!