When you hear the word truth, what comes to mind? Please pause a moment and consider this question: What is the topic of truth about for you?
Please read John 16:12-15 (this was the Gospel reading for Sunday, May 26th, the first Sunday of “Ordinary/Extraordinary” time).
12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
Notice what Jesus says about the truth: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”
John’s Gospel has a lot to say about truth. It uses the word truth 26 times. Matthew’s Gospel uses it once; Mark and Luke each use it three times. So, yea, John has a lot to say about truth.
Here are some pivotal instances:
John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Notice Jesus says “knowing” the truth shall set you free; not just “the truth” shall set you free.
John 14:6, the well-known, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Parakletos [Advocate, Comforter, Guide, Leader], in order that he be with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it neither sees him or knows him.”
Finally a text from the First Letter of John (this was probably written by the same author, school, or community as John’s Gospel): First John 2:27, “As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.”
Have you noticed the emphasis upon relationship? All of these texts (and they are consistent with all of John’s references to truth) focus on the importance of relationship as the basis of truth rather than facts, information, knowledge, concepts, and the like. For sure information is essential! There is no relationship without information. But information is not “truth.” Truth is found in relationship.
This begs the question of what “truth” actually is, or, asked differently, what is the truth?
I leave that for our pondering.
But here’s the point of today’s theme: our spiritual practice of engaging the Scripture is all about refining our openness to the Spirit of truth dwelling within us, that is, our relationship with the Spirit Who is Truth. Recall the posts of The 50 Days that invited us to wake up, then to abide and dwell in the Spirit, then to be led moment by moment by the Spirit. Practice, practice, practice waking up, abiding, being led. The Spirit of Jesus really does dwell within us. Could this really be the truth?
One last thought: I’ve often thought Beauty is the highest Truth. What do you think? Why?
Please engage any of the passages in this entry. Notice where you’re drawn in and let that launch your conversation. Be blessed! [If you are new to our blog, a description of our method of “engaging,” which is a method for readying and praying with the Bible, can be found here.]
Grace and Peace,
More to come …