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What is Truth?
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Sermon 20091121

What is Truth?

Joh 18:33-40
(33)  Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
(34)  Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"
(35)  Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"
(36)  Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."
(37)  Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
(38)  Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no case against him.
(39)  But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
(40)  They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit.

The nicest well meaning guy who has been hanging around in the temple preaching the truth and who has developed a pretty good following finds himself pinned against the wall.  And soon, will find himself nailed to the cross.  This is the coming of a significant event.

How do we learn?  Through simple and gentle instruction?  Often it takes something significant for us to get the big idea.

Could this story have been developed any other way?  Why must we endure the what seems to be such a violent process.  It starts out very gentle with the marvelous birth of Christ.  We don’t hear much about Jesus for 30 years other than around his becoming bar mitzvah, when in the temple He showed knowledge and wisdom beyond a typical young man of 13. 

At 30 years old, Jesus begins the ministry in earnest with the Baptism by John the Baptist when the Spirit of God came up Him. 

Jesus gathered together a rag-tag group of guys, the future apostles.  And for three years, Jesus went around doing miracles and teaching.  Lots of rather remarkable events and instruction for people to learn by. 

I have been doing some teaching at the Jefferson Village School.  There is a bunch of rag-tag group of people.  Then there are the kids.  Yes, they are rag-tag also.  Who are you folks?  We all are rag-tag group.

Let’s get back to this moment when Pilate will sentence Jesus to the cross.  A significant event.

How do we learn sometimes?  How do we change our lives?

Over and over we hear lessons in school or everyday life from TV, radio, and internet.  And then there is church.  Do we learn the first time we are taught something.  Do we change our attitude and accept the lessons and change the way we do stuff?  Often, we don’t really learn the lessons until there is a significant event.

We humans need to learn and often the only way we learn is through a significant event. 

Don’t touch, it is hot.  We touch and get burned.  Mom loves us and she told us don’t touch and we do anyway.  I sometimes forget and touch it again.  Simple gentle lessons by our parents and teachers growing up and we brush off what they have to say until something significant happens.

Couldn’t God had just given us good news of His enduring love and we then we just praise and worship Him.  Well, it didn’t happen in the Garden.  It didn’t happen over and over again through the Old Testament.  When you first heard the story of Adam and Eve, did you accept God and fear Him and Love Him.  We are just like them. 

Why must we endure hearing about the Cross over and over?  Why must we?

Because God made us just the way he wanted.  And, we must hear about the significant event.

Thank goodness that we don’t have to actually endure the personal witnessing of the crucifixion. 

The story is the Bible.  And we have to hear it over and over for it to stay with us.  It is like physical exercise.  We have to repeat the weight lift and the running and walking to stay in shape.

We must hear about the Cross on a regular basis in order to stay strong with Him, with God, with the Holy Spirit and with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We must hear about the Truth.  Do you belong to the Truth?  Do you listen to His voice?

What is truth?

The Bible is truth.

Please, please, save yourself grief and aggravation and having to endure personal significant events.

Accept the truth.  Accept the fact that Christ died on the cross so that you may live.

Don’t let bandits try to take the truth away.  Be wise.  Listen, read, come to church, talk with others, pray, have a conversation with God. 

Will it really take a significant event in your personal life for you to come to Him, or will the most significant event of world be enough?  It is enough.  The cross is enough.




Ivory Digits
William M. Howard
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PO Box 316
Jefferson, ME 04348-0316
(207) 214-7912

Copyright 2016 William M. Howard