The celebration nears. The remembrance of a birth is less than two weeks away. For many it’s about family and traditions, with little significance beyond that. For others, it includes the heart-warming folklore of the “No Room Here Inn,” a nostalgic reflection more than an awe-invoking remembrance. But still for others, we who believe, we try to battle the din of the season and try to prepare our hearts to, at least at some point, recapture something of the hush of that holy night. Something I read in John’s gospel this morning helped with some of that preparation.
Then Pilate said to him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”
(John 18:37 ESV)
Why was Jesus born? Why did Deity take on flesh? Why did the King of Heaven enter the world of men? Why did the Almighty condescend to be birthed as a baby? To bear witness to the truth. To testify concerning reality.
If there’s anything we need in this world today it is a dose of reality. Jesus, said, “That’s why I came.”
To bear witness to the reality of God. A God who has no delight in vain, empty-hearted religious practice. But a God who so loves the world that He sent His Son to redeem vain worship. That’s the truth.
To tell it like it is concerning sin. That those who commit sin are slaves to sin–and that everyone commits sin. But to also tell it like it can be. That He came to be the once-for-all sacrificial Lamb of God to deal with our sin–to pay sin’s wages and to break sin’s bondage. That’s the truth, too.
To authenticate that, having been created by God in His image, we were made for eternal life. And that eternal life is found in knowing the Creator. And that to know Jesus is to know the Creator. And that, even now, He prepares a place for those who know Him, so that, one day, where He is they might be also. More truth.
And to proclaim that all that needs to be done for people to know their God, and to be true worshipers, and to be freed from sin’s chains, and to participate in eternal life, has been done. Jesus bearing witness with His last breath on the cross, “It is finished.” Also the truth.
Jesus came into the world to speak of truth . . . to demonstrate truth . . . to define truth.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” ~ Jesus
(John 14:6a ESV)
But not everyone listens to His voice. Not everyone sees the light. Not everyone receives and experiences the taste of reality. Only those who are “of the truth” listen to His voice.
And a hush falls over me as I hover over this truth. That if I’m hearing His voice . . . if I’m picking up something of what He’s laying down . . . if I’m nodding my head in assent and, by His power, releasing my heart to His rule . . . then I am of the truth.
Not a cause for boasting. No basis for me to take credit. No merit for me to claim. For I was lost and not even looking. I was in darkness unaware of light. I was dead in trespass and sin, but then, made alive . . . and that by faith alone. And this crippled, wayward sheep began to hear the Shepherd’s voice. Because, through the finished work of the cross and by the grace of God, I was delivered from darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s Son, joining those of the truth.
That’s why He came into to the world. That men and women could be of the truth. That’s why He took on flesh, walked as a man, died as a sacrifice, rose again victorious–to redeem for Himself a people who hear His voice.
Listen! Can you hear it?
O come let us adore Him!
What amazing grace! To God be all the glory!