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The Way of Truth

Something has been coming up in my mind a lot lately. I think its one of those core issues that is key to every area of our human existence. It’s a core issue because so much of what we learn in our flesh runs counter to what is said here.

“Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6a)

Jesus is the “life” yet, we are instinctively desperate to find life anywhere we want - on our own terms - in our own timing. All sin, really, has to do with finding life in something other than Jesus.

Jesus is the “way”. A “way” is a well worn path, a habitual style of thinking and, therefore, of living. Jesus is the “way” yet we are so desperate to find our own way anywhere we want - on our own terms - in our own timing

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

God knows we have other "ways" in us. The word "wicked" in Psalm 139:24 is the literal word for "idol". Isn’t that interesting? God is telling us that we routinely have idolatrous habitual ways of thinking and living in us.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’” (John 14:6)

Jesus is the "truth". He IS the embodiment of reality; this is why reality is under such an assault. People bend the truth. They ignore it. They redefine it. They disesteem it. They put their “spin” on it.

Why? Because the father of lies is allergic to the truth! (John 8:44)

Why is all this important to us?

Jesus is talking to Pilate and Pilate will disesteem the truth while standing there....literally in the presence of the Truth.

“Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’” (John 18:33)

Pilate has just gotten a nothing response from the Jews about why Jesus is to be killed, so he asks Jesus "Are You the King of the Jews?"

“Jesus answered him, ‘Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?’” (John 18:34)

“Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?’” (John 18:35)

“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’” (John 18:36)

Jesus, the Truth, told the truth: He DID have a kingdom - it just wasn't an earthly one. I’ve discovered that to this day, many of the people in the body of Christ really expect there to be an earthly kingdom for Jesus. We try to impose a heavenly kingdom on an earthly reality.

I think that what, since we are supernatural beings, is supposed to happen is that we are to superimpose the heavenly kingdom of Jesus wherever we go. Sometimes Christians will be frustrated and their frustration will come from their desire to force spiritual issues down the throats of earthly beings. I think frustration is about the only thing that will ever come of that.

As individuals, we are to live out our spiritual reality, bringing the kingdom into the earthly by how we live. Think about it: when did Jesus force people to obey? Never. If He were to force it, would it be obedience? No, it wouldn't.

So, here we have an earthly ruler, Pilate, and he asks a heavenly ruler if he has an earthly kingdom.

“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’” (John 18:36)

Jesus explains it in a way Pilate can understand, (paraphrasing): “if Mine was an earthly kingdom my earthly subjects would have fought to keep me from being arrested.” The problem is that Pilate has a wicked bad case of “earthbound”.

“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” (John 18:37)

Jesus says something here that we should see. He references a type of person, which means there is another type of person. The one He references is that one who “is of the truth”; the other one, then, would be that one who is “not of the truth”.

That word "of" has to do with familial relationship; in other words, as children of God we are related to Him and therefore, we are related to Jesus. So, we are “of the truth”. Further, before we were children of God we were not related to Him - we were related to satan (experientially) the father of lies. At that time...we were “not of the truth”.

“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” (John 18:37)

Pilate has asked Jesus something about being a king and Jesus responds with some heavy revelation: Jesus admits He is a king. (Earlier He said that His kingdom was a heavenly one.) Here He gives one of many purpose statements: “to bear witness to the truth.” This simply means to “say what you know or have seen”. So, Jesus same to testify, to speak reality, in a world in which reality is not really respected. It wasn't esteemed then and really isn't respected now either.

Pilate's response is hauntingly familiar:

“Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’” (John 18:38a)

In other words, Pilate says, “truth isn't important”. For Pilate and for so many in the world today, truth is what we say it is.

We had a President once who actually had the audacity to challenge the definition of the word “is”. He said something like, “well, it depends on what ‘is’ is.” What was that? It was a challenge to the nature of reality; it was Pilate, or his nature, working in a recent U.S. President.

We must be aware that reality is not celebrated here and now and the fruit of that is evident. Truth represents boundaries and when people recognize that what is....is....we have limits because it means that what is not....is not. When reality and truth is honored we benefit and when we don't we experience the insecurity that is so rampant in the world today.

I sometimes wonder how much mental and emotional illness, insecurity, paranoia, “multiple personality disorder, fear, worry and doubt exists because our world doesn't like the limitations of truth.

At times I frustrate people to whom I minister because sometimes the only answer I have to perplexing questions about why things happen like they do is: “that's how it is” because “that's really how it is”.

Jesus told Pilate and us and the world that His people would pay attention to the truth

“Everyone who is of the truth hears (takes the time to listen to and give audience to) My voice (what I disclose).” (John 18:37)

Pilate's response is that he disesteems and disregards Jesus’ earth shattering comment about the truth.

“Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’” (John 18:38a)

The problem with not esteeming the truth, besides the insecurity issue, is that sooner or later reality strikes and when it does no one can rescue us from reality.

Two years ago I approached a young man here where I live and I told him to stop dealing drugs, that sooner or later he would be arrested if he didn't because we live in a small town. His response? “I'm not dealing drugs.”

It was a lie. I have seen drug dealing up close and personal; I know what it looks like. So, I told him I knew that wasn’t true and that he knew that and that sooner or later reality would strike. He was arrested several months ago and is now serving time in state prison.

He had a close encounter with reality. It won't budge for him because it cannot change. What really is simply is. Jesus is the embodiment of truth. He NEVER changes.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

When my young friend said, “I'm not dealing drugs” he thought he was fooling me. Perhaps, like so many do, he thought that if he denied the truth he would protect himself from the consequences of the truth. (This is a form of magic.) The fact of the matter is that in an essential sense, he was challenging Jesus - the truth.

“...For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26)

The truth will always be seen; if not now, then eventually.

When I spoke to my friend I wasn’t being judgmental. Simply saying the truth is never judgment; it’s Jesus intervening. I also didn’t curse that young man by speaking consequences over him. The Lord showed me that he would be arrested if he didn’t stop selling drugs and I made that clear to him. By disesteeming a word from the Lord (truth) and choosing a lie over the truth, he chose the consequence.

Jesus came to indwell us through the Holy Spirit for a reason:

“… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15)

We must speak truth in love. Someone says, “I am __________ (something bad)”; but they are saved. They say “I am dirty” but in Christ you know they are righteous. The Word says so (Romans 5:19). At times like this we must speak the truth and bring reality into the mix. We must allow Jesus, “the way, the truth and the life”, to intervene.

Pilate shrugged......”what is truth?”

That spirit is alive and well in our world today and it takes many forms.

So, in answer to Pilate’s question: “what IS truth?” I say, “Truth is all that matters!” Jesus IS truth.

As this piece has come together I have realized that I am a lot more passionate about this than I thought I would be. I think it is because I see so much devastation all linked to the unreality that is practiced in the world and often among our brethren.

We jokingly, “Denial is not just a river in Egypt”. Do you know what denial is? It’s a person lying to himself or herself. There are many forms of this deception.

Minimizing is a lie.

Ignoring reality is a lie.

Putting on a happy face is a lie.

Acting more dignified than we really are is a lie.

It is infuriating to me that in some quarters of the body of Christ this is considered to be “holy” behavior: lying about how we really feel. Pilate shrugged…..“what is truth?”

I’ve also seen people in the body of Christ tell the truth about how they really feel emotionally and then APOLOGIZE because often in the culture of institutional Christianity a “church face” is a good thing.

In the heart of Jesus it's untruth and, therefore, has nothing to do with us!

We are Christians; We are Christ-ians, those who are like Christ. We are His people. We are His brethren. He is the first born of many; we are the many. Let's live like we “be”: like Him.

I would like to close this article by quoting an inspirational piece that I absolutely love:

“THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED”

I am a part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, love with patience, live by prayer and labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. (My note: negotiating at the table of the enemy = dabbling in untruth)

I won't give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”

Let’s be real! We are “people of the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 24:22) and that way is the way of truth.

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, Texas

© May 15, 2006

(For use with permission)

©2018 by Mike McInerney Ministries