What is truth? This was the question asked of Jesus by Pontius Pilate as Jesus stood before him on trial to be executed. This is also the question on the minds of many of us today. We look for truth, but like then, we still don’t recognize it when we find it.
With today’s technology, anyone can write an article, anyone can record a song, and anyone can produce a video or movie. There are tons of this available on the Internet. Cheap articles, cheap recordings, cheap videos and movies, all available at the press of a finger. Also, with today’s philosophy of relativism, anyone can declare truth. And believe me, many do. But it’s all cheap truth.
Most cheap truth is simply that, cheap statements spewed out at random. Sometimes, some thought goes into it, but in the end, it is simply opinion. Sometimes, to obscure the opinion, the author will attempt to back it with the opinions of others, or even misinterpreted scripture, or some other source. It’s all designed to disguise it as something more than someone’s empty statement, a cheap truth.
When one seeks to find the meaning of what God says in the scriptures, the twenty first century person doesn’t get to choose the meanings of the words to determine the truth of God’s word. If you hold the scriptures in high enough regard to turn to them for truth in the first place, then you need to do the research to find out what was said in the original context, and the meanings of the original text. Then seek to understand the impact and relevance of it to its original audience in their day. Once you have determined that, then you are at the start point to determine its relevance and any application of it to us for today.
Anything short of that is cheap truth!
To declare something as truth, the person making the declaration must have the authority to do so. In the Gospel of Mark, there is an episode where a group of people couldn’t get their sick friend past a crowd to Jesus, so they climbed up on the roof, broke a hole in it and lowered their friend down through it in front of Jesus. Jesus first said to this person, “Your sins are forgiven!” Many present, were astonished and complained that only God himself had authority to forgive sins. Jesus’ response was to ask them a rhetorical question, “Is it easier for me to declare as truth that a person’s sins are forgiven, so sin no more, or to declare as truth that a person is healed, so pick up your mat and walk?” Then He made the bold statement, “To prove that I have authority to forgive sins, you are healed, so pick up your mat and walk”. The man was healed, so he picked up his mat and walked right out of the building to everyone’s amazement. There was real substance to this truth.
Truth is based on authenticity and authority, and when applied, it is backed up with results. Anything else is simply cheap truth, no different from any random tweet or Facebook post.
Real truth comes at a cost. Jesus paid the price for truth with his very own life. He willing laid it down. Then because He had authority even over death, He returned and was seen by many. When we follow Jesus, there can be a price to believe in the truth. Many have suffered and died for it. But we all benefit from its effect throughout history, and especially those who believe to receive eternal life.
When you place a bet, you make sure that you understand the odds before you place anything on it more than trivial amounts. When you invest large sums of money, you make sure that the venture plan is sound and the people are trustworthy. When you go for medical treatment, you go see a qualified physician, not some Internet quack. Likewise, your faith needs to be in genuine truth backed by someone trustworthy . Cheap gambling and cheap investments are like throwing your money away. Cheap Internet medical advice is like throwing your life away. Likewise, trusting your soul to cheap truth is nothing more than to toss it into the pit, the bottomless pit.
Please make sure that you do your homework and seek out real truth, something and someone you can trust. Jesus can be trusted. He paid the price for real truth with His life, and then, having authority over death, even death could not contain Him. These things are mind boggling because they are not as things appear in our common experience. But nevertheless, they are true.
Put your trust in Jesus. He is truth!