Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 16&17, Ezekiel 48, John 17&18


    Does anyone speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the world these days? Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” [John 18 v.38]; the motive behind the question is not readily apparent – and it was the end of their conversation.

    Before his arrest, in his prayers, Jesus had expressed some remarkable thoughts which John has recorded for us.   In the pressure on him, because he knew what was about to happen, Jesus is thinking and praying for his disciples!  What a remarkable example for us to try to follow if we are ever in a difficult and dangerous situation; we should focus our minds and pray for others.

    Jesus prays, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one” [17 v.11].  Strength comes through unity and Jesus knew they faced 3 heart wrenching days: it seems obvious they were together in their deep distress.  Jesus continues, “I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word …” [17 v.12-14]. What kind of joy was fulfilled?

      Glance back to Ch.16 v.22-24, “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you … Until now you have asked nothing in my name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”  Joy beyond imagining awaits Christ’s genuine followers in the time soon to come.

    For now, the words of Jesus are so meaningful, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” [17 v.16,17]  

This brings us back to the question, “What is truth?”  Surely it means that the foundation of all that is true is in what God has spoken via Jesus and other godly people.   Another word for truth in modern parlance is the saying, ‘Get real!’ meaning something like – ‘Face reality.’ 

    So when Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” – we think it was likely said in exasperation. He, as are others, are constantly surrounded by distorted “truth” and half-truths.  In today’s world it is more than ever the case.  But we can say, as we pray to God, Your word is truth” and make it the foundation of our thinking and doing every day.