During his trial before Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, Jesus of Narareth testified, “I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” In response, Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:37-38) His question raises a philosophical challenge about the very nature of truth. How do we know “truth” when we encounter it? Is truth relative or absolute? Is our understanding of truth subject to change? At times in life, we may encounter evidence that calls for a reevaluation of something we’ve held to be true. In that case, we should ask questions, think critically, lean upon God for wisdom, and be open to the possibility of a change in our view.

Jesus called his early disciples to make a radical change in their view. They were relying on their genealogy as descendants of Abraham to define their standing before God. In John 8:31-32, Jesus placed an entirely different truth claim before them when he declared, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus equates “truth” to his own words. He doesn’t present it as a proposition. He unequivocally declares that his words are truth in the absolute sense.

Jesus isn’t just seeking intellectual assent to his words. Rather, he calls for disciples to “abide’ in his words. Abiding speaks of the place where we dwell. Jesus invites us to dwell in Him. Abiding isn’t something that happens all at once. It can take adopted kids a long time to feel like they’re at home – safe. To “abide in His word” calls us to embrace, internalize, and live out Jesus’ words in our lives. It’s not just that we agree with His word, we delight in it. It becomes a framework for the way we view life. The implication is that Scripture becomes our joy and it fulfills us.

Jesus’ words define the essence of our standing before God as believers and also how we live out our faith integrating the Word into all we think, say, and do. In doing so we experientially affirm it is truth!

May your commitment to abide (dwell) in the Word be a powerful witness of your faith in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Dave Korinek

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