Is My Truth The Same As Yours?

We categorize truth as absolute or relative. Jesus taught absolute truths. As His disciples, His absolute truths are anchors for our souls.

Is My Truth The Same As Yours?

August 19, 2021

Mesmerized by the stirring lyrics and musical rhythms, I remember sitting entranced as I watched the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. At thirteen years old, this movie gave me my first taste of the story of Jesus. Although I now understand the differences between the Broadway creation and the Biblical account, the words and music of this opera still reside in the recesses of my memories. 

As I wrote last week’s blog post, these words from the movie, sung by Pontius Pilate, came to mind:

“And what is ‘truth’? Is truth unchanging law? We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?” 

In the Biblical account, Pilate simply asked, “What is truth?”. (John 18:38) As I noted in the last blog post, this question can be seen as both rhetorical and ironic. But the interpretation of this question by Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator of Jesus Christ Superstar, illustrates a roadblock that often stands in the way of seeking truth.

As humans, we tend to classify truth as either absolute or relative. An absolute truth is true for all people, whether they believe it or not. A relative truth can be true for one person, but not for everyone else. For example, in the evenings the temperature here can drop into the sixties. My husband embraces these temperatures as ideal. But I shiver and reach for a sweater. The actual temperature is an absolute truth. But how we each feel, comfortable or cold, are relative truths.

In today’s pursuit of tolerance, many of the truths once universally accepted as absolute are being recategorized as relative. Those who continue to believe in absolute truths risk committing what many see as the unforgivable sin of intolerance.  

Yet as followers of Jesus, we have no other choice. Jesus taught absolute truths. One of the most notable can be found in the gospel of John:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)

In these two sentences, Jesus conveys four absolute truths:

He is the Way: Unlike maps which show us how to get somewhere, Jesus is the actual pathway. His sacrifice on the cross reconciles us to God (Colossians 1:22).

He is the Truth: Jesus doesn’t just teach truth, He is truth. When we follow His teachings, we will know Him (the truth) and He (the truth) will set us free from sin (John 8:31-32).

He is the Life: Jesus doesn’t just teach us about life, He is life. The life we have in Him is both abundant (John 10:10) and eternal (John 3:16).

He is Exclusive: Undoubtedly one of His most controversial statements, the way to the Father is found exclusively in Jesus (Acts 4:11-12).

To some, these absolute truths from Jesus sound intolerant and offensive. But they give me great comfort. One way gives direction. One truth eliminates confusion. One life gives purpose. One savior delivers from condemnation. 

Absolute truths remain constant; they don’t depend on public opinion. Our world constantly changes. What is hailed as truth today may be condemned as lies tomorrow. But the truths of Jesus will stand forever (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). 

Holding on to these truths anchors my soul. In Jesus Christ Superstar, Pilate wondered: Is truth unchanging law? It’s a question many ask today. We can answer with confidence:

The absolute truth of Jesus is unchanging law.

The road ahead continues to look rocky and uncertain. As I continue my journey, I pray to cling to these truths with every fiber of my being. Wherever the road leads you next, I pray you can  do the same. 

Is My Truth The Same As Yours?

August 19, 2021

We categorize truth as absolute or relative. Jesus taught absolute truths. As His disciples, His absolute truths are anchors for our souls.

Mesmerized by the stirring lyrics and musical rhythms, I remember sitting entranced as I watched the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. At thirteen years old, this movie gave me my first taste of the story of Jesus. Although I now understand the differences between the Broadway creation and the Biblical account, the words and music of this opera still reside in the recesses of my memories. 

As I wrote last week’s blog post, these words from the movie, sung by Pontius Pilate, came to mind:

“And what is ‘truth’? Is truth unchanging law? We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?” 

In the Biblical account, Pilate simply asked, “What is truth?”. (John 18:38) As I noted in the last blog post, this question can be seen as both rhetorical and ironic. But the interpretation of this question by Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator of Jesus Christ Superstar, illustrates a roadblock that often stands in the way of seeking truth.

As humans, we tend to classify truth as either absolute or relative. An absolute truth is true for all people, whether they believe it or not. A relative truth can be true for one person, but not for everyone else. For example, in the evenings the temperature here can drop into the sixties. My husband embraces these temperatures as ideal. But I shiver and reach for a sweater. The actual temperature is an absolute truth. But how we each feel, comfortable or cold, are relative truths.

In today’s pursuit of tolerance, many of the truths once universally accepted as absolute are being recategorized as relative. Those who continue to believe in absolute truths risk committing what many see as the unforgivable sin of intolerance.  

Yet as followers of Jesus, we have no other choice. Jesus taught absolute truths. One of the most notable can be found in the gospel of John:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)

In these two sentences, Jesus conveys four absolute truths:

He is the Way: Unlike maps which show us how to get somewhere, Jesus is the actual pathway. His sacrifice on the cross reconciles us to God (Colossians 1:22).

He is the Truth: Jesus doesn’t just teach truth, He is truth. When we follow His teachings, we will know Him (the truth) and He (the truth) will set us free from sin (John 8:31-32).

He is the Life: Jesus doesn’t just teach us about life, He is life. The life we have in Him is both abundant (John 10:10) and eternal (John 3:16).

He is Exclusive: Undoubtedly one of His most controversial statements, the way to the Father is found exclusively in Jesus (Acts 4:11-12).

To some, these absolute truths from Jesus sound intolerant and offensive. But they give me great comfort. One way gives direction. One truth eliminates confusion. One life gives purpose. One savior delivers from condemnation. 

Absolute truths remain constant; they don’t depend on public opinion. Our world constantly changes. What is hailed as truth today may be condemned as lies tomorrow. But the truths of Jesus will stand forever (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). 

Holding on to these truths anchors my soul. In Jesus Christ Superstar, Pilate wondered: Is truth unchanging law? It’s a question many ask today. We can answer with confidence:

The absolute truth of Jesus is unchanging law.

The road ahead continues to look rocky and uncertain. As I continue my journey, I pray to cling to these truths with every fiber of my being. Wherever the road leads you next, I pray you can  do the same. 

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4 Comments

  1. Nancy Ness on August 22, 2021 at 5:39 PM

    You’ve taken a controversial subject in today’s culture and written it in a way that people can understand. I like the illustration you used using evening temperatures. Beautifully written!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on August 22, 2021 at 5:54 PM

      Thank you Nancy! 💕

  2. Sheila Daniel on August 22, 2021 at 9:20 PM

    What a great way to put “truth” in perspective. Thanks, Shirley, for these wise words.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on August 23, 2021 at 6:13 AM

      Thank you Sheila! 💕

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