Made of Truth
Who is God? What is He like? What does He ask of me and want for me? It’s hard to think of bigger questions, or ones asked more frequently by spiritually hungry hearts, down through the ages of human history.
One of the most compelling things about Jesus is that because He is God, He lets us in on the character and nature of God. He self-discloses. He pulls back the curtain and says, ”This is who I am and what I’m about . . . this is what the Father is like.”
In John 15:1, Jesus uses two metaphors to reveal some very important things about Himself and His Father. He starts by saying, “I am the true grapevine.”
Before we rush past this, think about those first four words, “I am the true . . . ”
We live in a world of knockoffs. It isn’t hard to find authentic-looking replicas of brand-name handbags, shoes, watches, and pretty much anything else you can think of, especially on the Internet. Sadly, it’s all too easy to find knockoff versions of faith as well—replicas of truth, alternate ”gospels,” so-called messiahs and saviors who promise peace and a path to God. Jesus wants us to know He is true, and the Truth (with a capital T).
It’s hard to think of something more disturbing than having to settle in permanently with people you can’t trust. Their words would never carry much weight. You would always wonder if their actions, even the good ones, hid a darker motive.
In the previous chapter (John 14:6), Jesus made a bold claim: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
So much hinges upon these words. None of the other attributes of Jesus would matter that much if He were a phony, a liar. But if He is telling the truth about being the Truth, then our souls can finally settle confidently into an abiding life with Him. In fact, near the end of his book, John told the readers why he wrote it. “But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name” (John 20:31, emphasis added).
Being with someone you trust wholeheartedly puts your soul at ease. Even when he or she has hard things to say or take actions you don’t fully understand, if you know he or she’s always truthful, trustworthy, and have your best interest at heart, you feel secure and settled.
Now let’s go back to those first four words of John 15:1 again. The word ”true” in the Greek (the primary language in which the New Testament was written) is aléthiné—literally, “made of truth.” So at the front end of this powerful metaphor which lets us in on who God is and what He is like, Jesus lets us know that He’s genuine, the real deal.
As you read this, you may be at the beginning of your faith journey. Or, like me, you may have had an ongoing relationship with Christ for many years, or even decades. Whatever the case, settling (or resettling) our hearts on the foundation that Jesus is true and Truth—and that the Bible, God’s Word, is completely true—is foundational to a deep and fruitful, abiding-with-Jesus life.
Many in our world today (and even in the broader church) question whether the Bible is fully inspired and completely true. (Hint: It is!) There are many good resources to help settle those questions. But a good place to begin is to discover what Scripture claims about its own veracity.
Not only does the Bible claim to be God’s truth, God Himself (as the divine Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) asserts that the essence of His character and nature is truth.
Since we belong to a God of truth, we are called to live lives of truth. That’s not always easy in a world of masks, duplicity, and dishonesty. We can’t always blindly trust the words of politicians, writers (gulp!), spokespersons, celebrities, influencers, and even religious leaders. Hopefully we’ve learned not to believe everything we read on the Internet or in those phishing emails that sneak into our inbox.
Sadly, we can’t always trust our own hearts, either. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things.” Have you ever been fooled by your own heart? I sure have! It tells me things like Buying that will make you contented . . . If you looked like her, you would be happy . . . You will never measure up . . . It’s okay to bend the truth a little—everyone does.
Thankfully, it is possible to live a life characterized by honesty, authenticity, and integrity. But these grow out of our unbroken connection with Jesus, the One who said, “I am the truth” and “I am the true grapevine.”
Excerpted from The Settled Soul: Tenaciously Abiding with a Tender God by Jodi Detrick. Copyright ©2020 Jodi Detrick, published by Gospel Publishing House, pp 13-16. All rights reserved. Sunday, February 28 is National Women’s Day in the Assemblies of God.