Listening Through Lent: What is Truth?

The late Steve Jobs stated:  “Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is the result of other peoples’ thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

This modern way of thinking where there is no absolute truth is wrong and is not new. Listen to what Pilate says at Jesus trial in John 18:38. Retorts Pilate, “ What is Truth!” As then, today much of what is taught and received is based on a persons’ subjective feelings rather than on the absolute objective dogma “ doctrine” on who Christ is and what he has done. Subjective teaching and learning has permeated much of what is taught even in our churches where feelings of what matters to you are what counts. Having said this we must not be stoic lacking emotions, rather emotions should flow from what the Bible teaches about Christ, who, he is and what he has done for us.

An exposition from Alexander MacLaren gives us a good illustration of fact and truth, showing that the Gospel is a teaching of historical true facts. Christ came to earth went to the cross and gave himself for us. These truths are solid realities of facts. MacLaren illustrates. “ Suppose four people, for instance, standing at the foot of the Christ’s cross; four “other” evangelists than the four we know. There is a Roman soldier, there is a Pharisee; there is one of the weeping crowd of poor women not disciples; and there is a disciple. The first man tells the fact; a Jewish rebel was crucified this morning. The second man tells the fact; a blaspheming apostate suffered what he deserved today. The woman tells the fact a poor gentle, fair soul, was martyred today; and the fourth one tells the fact; Jesus Christ, the Son of God died for our sins. The three tell the same fact; the fourth preaches the Gospel that is to say the fact of Christian teaching the plus the Gospel’s explanation; {dogma] doctrine if you will, this makes all the difference.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, Jesus of Nazareth died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. That turns the story of facts into teaching which molds our life. We have a religion with its basis in Divine truth. The revolt against “man’s” dogma is often in danger of casting away God’s truth. Hold on to the objective truth that declares the Divinity and sacrifice of Jesus Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Remember our feelings and our knowledge will not work without the objective facts of the Gospel that requires our obedience.


1. Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word,

Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell how the angels, in chorus, sang as they welcomed his birth,

“Glory to God in the highest!  Peace and good tidings to Earth.”


2. Fasting alone in the desert, tell of the days that are past,

How for our sins He was tempted, yet was triumphant at last.

Tell of the years of His labor tell of the sorrow He bore;

He was despised and afflicted, homeless, rejected and poor.


3. Tell of the cross where they nailed Him, writhing in anguish and pain,

Tell of the grave where they laid Him, tell how He liveth again.

LOVE in that story so tender, clearer than ever I see;

Stay, let me weep while you whisper, LOVE paid the ransom for me.


Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word;

Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.


Jesus answered “I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE, no
man cometh to the Father but by Me. John 14:16

~Nick and Diana Laninga



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