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D.C. Collier: Can Truth Be Known?

Naturally, we think of “truth” as something propositional that addresses a particular subject.

When Isaac Newton said, “what goes up must come down,” he was proposing a universal truth about physical objects under the influence of gravity. There are thousands more such “truths” in mankind’s body of knowledge — many more are waiting to be discovered.

But what if all “truths” could be summed up in a Person? That is, the Person who originated all truth in the first place. Scripture boldly proclaims, “... Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery!”1

If you have Him, all truth, wisdom and knowledge come along for the ride. Jesus is the “wire” along which all truth runs. The Apostle Paul ecstatically thundered:

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”2

                                                                 •        •        •

A momentous exchange occurred between Pontius Pilate and Jesus Christ near the climax of Jesus’ life 2,000 years ago. In it, Christ reveals his purpose for coming to earth.

“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.” Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”

Jesus answered, “You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.” Pilate said, “What is truth?”

Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man. It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”3

Like a blinding flash of pure light, he came to earth to be a living witness to the ultimate truth of life on earth — the truth about God, his kindness and gracious attitude ... the truth about mankind, our desperate need of a Savior. He stood boldly before us as the ultimate Reality and exposed the torrent of deceptions that have infected human thinking throughout the ages.

The Apostle John declares:

Everything was created through him;
nothing — not one thing
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.4

Here we have the unmistakable mark of an authentic truth-seeker — Recognizing the spiritual “tug” of the spirit of Christ and not being led astray by imposters. For the few who did want him, Jesus made them into who they were meant to be all along, children of the living God.

The Paradoxical Exclusivity and Inclusivity of Christ’s Message

The following words of Jesus have drawn clenched fists and spitting rage among the religious and nonreligious alike since they were uttered two millennia ago:

Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?” Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”5

Jesus Christ did not just speak the truth — He was the truth! He circumscribed the truth and defined it. To have seen Jesus was to have seen the Father in heaven! And gladly for all of us, he was and is a loving and gracious person.

Such exclusive claims did not go down well with anyone, particularly the religious leaders of his day. He was sweeping all other religions off the table with a single stroke. Any other approach to God was declared to be futile, regardless of its popularity or the sincerity of its followers. Period. These were either the words of a madman or of someone who knew that his claims would be eventually backed up by verifiable results.

But equally sweeping was the inclusivity of his many invitations to follow him and to be with God in heaven: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”6 That word “whoever” is as unconditional as his claims to be the only way to God.

How About You?

Do Jesus’ words resonate with something deep inside you? Do you feel the spiritual “tug” of his gentle shepherd’s voice? Consider this:

“My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him.”7

D.C. Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer focused on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.” Click here for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

1. Colossians 2:2-4 The Message (MSG)

2. Romans 11:33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

3. John 18: 36-39 (MSG)

4. John 1:3-12 (MSG)

5. John 14:5-7 (MSG)

6. John 5:24 (NIV)

7. John 10:26-30 (MSG)

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