The truth of power vs. the power of truth.
John 18:33-40 NIV
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
John 1:14-18 NIV
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John 17:14-19 NIV
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION PROVED THAT THE POWER OF TRUTH IS GREATER THAN THE TRUTH OF POWER.
Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. (v.37)
What is truth? (v.38)
In Your Presence, God, we light the fourth candle of Advent. Today we hear the voice of John the Baptist, the one sent to testify of the Messiah:
“I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:32-34)
In the womb, John leaped for joy as God was becoming flesh. As a man, John called people to repent and live in a way that testified to the great Testifier of truth. This Advent, we ask that we too might bear witness to the truth of Jesus by how we live His way on the earth:
One True God, like John, may we too leap for joy in response to the presence of Truth among us and give witness to Him and His ways throughout our days on this earth. Amen.
Looking through the Gospels, how does Jesus reveal himself as the Truth? How do you see Him doing so today? What do you think life was like for John the Baptist? How does the truth of Jesus bear witness through your life? Practice:
Take time as an individual or a family to craft a simple testimony of who Jesus is and how He has transformed you this year. As you gather with loved ones for Christmas this week, look for ways to share your testimony in both word and deed.