Who Tells the Truth?
“To Tell the Truth” was a popular television program a few decades ago. Panelists would ask questions to three persons all claiming to be a certain person who accomplished something spectacular. Of course, there would be two imposters and one person who told the truth about himself. It was an interesting and fun TV show to watch. You would always be trying to figure out which of the three persons was telling the truth.
So who is telling the truth when it comes to politics? Are the Democrats telling the truth when they say they have some evidence that President Trump committed a crime? Are the Republicans telling the truth when they say that President Trump is exonerated and has committed no crime – no cover up, no collusion with the Russians, and no obstruction of justice? Who is telling the truth?
The Spirit of Truth
Truth is a theme in today’s gospel from John chapter 14 for this Pentecost Sunday. Jesus said to his disciples, “This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides in you, and he will be with you.” (v. 17)
Jesus promised his followers this Spirit of Truth. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended on the followers of Christ and they could speak of God’s mighty acts in Jesus to the Jews who had gathered from near and far. The Spirit of Truth inspired those followers of Christ to be bold witnesses for him and his love for all humanity.
No Truth, No Real Life
Without the Spirit of Truth there are lies and falsehoods which deceive and destroy all people who fall prey to these powers. Jesus called Satan the “father of lies.” (John 8:44) Certainly lies only lead to evil behavior. Lies only get us in trouble with friends, family, and the law. Lies destroy human relationships. Lie are at the center of a sinful humanity.
1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” To be filled with truth is to realize that we are part of a sinful and broken humanity. To be filled with truth is to realize that we need a Savior who loves us, forgives us, and gives new life day after day.
Truth Will Set You Free
Knowing the truth about Jesus makes all the difference in the world. Our Lord said, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) With Jesus we are set free from the power of sin and strengthened by this Spirit of Truth we can love God and love our neighbors, too. We are free from living a life of lies and falsehoods. We can be authentic people knowing the truth that a deep relationship of trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered, died, and rose offers us forgiveness, life and salvation.
The Spirit of Truth is Gift and Promise
Jesus also promised this about the Spirit of Truth. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13a) The Spirit of Truth is a guide in our lives. This Spirit is a spiritual road map. This Spirit is an ethical compass helping us decide what it means to love God and neighbor. And besides that this Spirit will strengthen us to accomplish what the Lord wills for our lives.
The promised Holy Spirit is indeed a gift for us. That Spirit abides with us. Jesus made it so. The Day of Pentecost is a moment to celebrate this precious gift.
Thanks be to God!