Is there an authority on truth? The idea that truth may be personally defined – what is true for me may not be true for you – is a popular one. People in western culture tend to be suspicious of anyone who claims to have a corner on truth.
How do you measure truth? Is what you believe to be true defined based on your culture, your family’s or parents’ beliefs, a book, a worldview, a professional perspective? All of us have adopted some beliefs without knowing or questioning what they’re based on.
In our media-rich age where writings abound and millions of opinions vie for attention on so many platforms, the question of the authority or source for the opinion seems to become irrelevant.
Surrounded with so many conflicting opinions and beliefs, how can we know what truth is?
Jesus had a conversation with his disciples about how to know God. One of his disciples, Philip, had asked Jesus to “show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Philip makes the request many of us have longed for; ‘God, just show yourself to us.’ Then we will have seen you; we’ll know you are real, and we can somehow grasp truth.
Jesus seems to be surprised by the request. He says “How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”
Jesus pointed to God, his heavenly Father, for authority on truth.
Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
Do you believe that Jesus’ words are authoritative and true? Think about why or why not. What steps do you need to take to decide one way or the other?
Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
What do you think about Jesus’ statement that the words he spoke were not on his authority but the result of God “living in me, who is doing his work.”?
Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.
Using Jesus’ teachings as a measure of truth, what do you believe about the afterlife?
Dear God, in this world of so many competing voices, help me to hear your one clear voice, regardless of what I want to hear. Help me to recognize what is true and real about this life, and the life to come.