A truthful witness saves lives,
but a false witness is deceitful. (Proverbs 14:25)
Very powerful words. Jesus said “The truth will set you free”. Today, it’s common belief that truth is relative, or “unknowable”. We claim to want concrete evidence, yet are so willing to believe the most fascinating stories or theories. What drives us to believe what we believe? Where are we getting our information? Who is a reliable source? Who can we trust???
Jesus prefaced his statement about the truth setting us free, in John 8, as such:
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
So here we see Jesus is claiming to be the source of truth. And in fact, if you read the Gospel of John in its entirety, or any of the Gospels, you will see that the “teaching” he refers to is that which God the Father has given already in the Old Testament. He even claims to have testimony from the Father in John 8, when the pharisees question Jesus’ authority. Essentially, his teachings come directly from God the Father, as does his authority.
Jesus made claims that his teaching was the truth. All of it. Which means he’s either God in flesh, as he claimed, or he’s a liar. And his teaching is not the truth. Which one do you think he is?
If he’s a liar:
- He did a great job in setting up the “miracles” he performed, including orchestrating all the afflicted to work with him. This includes some who had to act out their afflictions for years (the man who was crippled by the well, the woman who was bleeding for years, the boy who was born blind, etc).
- He also tricked his disciples many times – walking on water, feeding thousands with just a few items, returning after being crucified and killed, ascending into heaven. But I suppose his disciples could have all been delusional. If that were the case, I wonder how these delusional, simple fishermen, who were not educated or well-spoken, were able to then share boldly this “truth” they so believed. And why die for it? We see they all scattered when Jesus was captured – where then later did they muster up so much courage, to die for this lie?
- If he is a liar, he was a fool. Remember, he had the respect of many, even at a young age. He certainly had the ability to “influence” others. Why not use that for his gain? But we see he gained nothing on this earth……..
- If he’s a liar, Jesus is the epitomy of a false witness
However, if Jesus is telling the truth:
- He is in fact the Son of God. He is in fact God in flesh (John 8:58)
- He came to earth as a human for one reason – to save the world (John 3:16)
- Everything he says is true – all of it. Ever word. Which means if we know his truth, it WILL set us free!
But even if Jesus is telling the truth – do we really know his truth? Do we know the word of God? do we study it, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts through it? Or do we water it down with devotionals and commentaries (including mine)? Or worse – replace it with worldly sayings that make us feel good?
The Gospel is sometimes harsh. sometimes painful to swallow. Sometimes goes against what we consider “normal” today. But the Gospel is never condemning. God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes shall never perish but instead have eternal life. Good news!
Jesus did not come to make us feel better about ourselves. That is what a false witness would do. Jesus came to save lives. That is what a truthful witness does……