Location, Location, Location – John 4:1-26

Jesus told her, ‘Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth'” (John 4:21-24, CSB).

Mount Gerizim was the Old Testament location where God was to pronounce blessing on the Jewish people upon entering the promised land: “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal…. When you possess it and settle in it, be careful to follow all the statutes and ordinances I set before you today” (Deuteronomy 11:29, CSB). This ceremony was solemnly performed after the Israelites began to take possession of the promised land (see Joshua 8:30-35).

During Jesus’ time Samaritanism was alienated from Judaism. This alienation had evolved over many centuries starting with the division of Israel into northern and southern kingdoms and the bad influence of evil kings in the northern kingdom. The conquest of Israel (northern kingdom) by Assyria and the resulting importation of foreign colonists greatly modified the Jewish religion in that region.

Continue reading

Determining God’s Will – Exodus 28:30

Truthrocks“Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord.” (Exodus 28:30, NLT).

One of the primary priestly functions was to determine God’s will for His people. The priest’s chestpiece provided a container for the Urim and Thummim.The Hebrew words descibing the chestpiece literally meant “chestpiece for decision.”

Continue reading

The Edge of Darkness – 1 John 5:17

Gate_from_darkness_to_Light“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” (1 John 5:17, HCSB)

The book of I John is a book of contrasts.  John begins his letter by contrasting darkness and light. He declares that “God is Light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him” (vs. 1:5).

Continue reading

The Gift That Keeps on Giving – John 15:26

gift“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me” (John 15:26, NLT).

At the Last Supper Jesus explained to His disciples that He was going away–He was going to be arrested and executed–and so He would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to be with His disciples.

Continue reading

Truth Management – 2 Corinthians 13:6

pinocchio“For we are not able to do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:6, HCSB).

The Apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians in this verse that regardless of their opinion about him, the truth of the gospel will prevail.

Paul said that as an apostle he had exercised no power over those who received the truth of the gospel. And any apostolic power he had exercised was to defend the truth of the gospel by instructing, reproving, or censuring those that opposed, denied, or contradicted it.

Continue reading

The Problem with Political Correctness – Luke 20:1-8

No_Political_Correctness“They talked it over among themselves. If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet. So they finally replied that they didn’t know. And Jesus responded, Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things” (Luke 20:5-8, NLT).

One day near the end of His earthly ministry while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the religious leaders challenged His authority. Jesus responded to the challenge by asking them by what authority did John the Baptist teach and baptize.

Continue reading

Lighting the Way – Psalm 43:3-4

“Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy” (Psalm 43:3-4, NLT).

In this prayer for God’s redemption, light and truth are viewed as guides and the Temple on the mountain in Jerusalem symbolized God’s holy presence among his people.

So the psalmist prayed for God’s light and truth to lead him into God’s presence where he could find happiness.

This verse is a Messianic promise because it ultimately finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the light that leads us to the truth of God, where we can live in His presence and the joy He gives us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

On several occasions during His earthly ministry Jesus explained that He was the fulfillment of this Messianic promise.

Jesus said that He was the light of God and, as such, He would drive out darkness and bring truth to people’s lives so they would do what is right and be a light to others: “But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants” (John 3:21, NLT).

Jesus told His disciples that He was the light of the world and if you follow Him you will find God’s truth: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12, NLT).

When Jesus told His disciples that He was going to die, they were anxious and He reassured them by telling them that He Himself was the way to God: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NLT).

Remember, God sends His light to you to illuminate the way to Him so that you can guide others to Jesus, God’s Light, so they also can find their way to God!

Truth Professionals – 1 John 1:6-7

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” The Apostle John says in the preceding verse (vs. 5) that God is light. Therefore, those who walk in darkness are not walking with God, no matter what they say. John says that if you are walking in darkness then you are not practicing the truth. By contrast, those who walk in the light reflect God’s glory; they walk in the same way Jesus walked (vs. 2:6). The light in which they walk includes both correct doctrine (truth) and God’s moral law (holiness). If you “walk in the light” then you practice the truth and your behavior is consistent with your doctrine. When you live your life each day according to God’s redemptive love and moral law, then you are living the truth. You are like a practitioner of the truth, a truth professional. Just as doctors practice medicine and attorneys practice the law, Christians practice truth. As a practitioner of truth, when you “walk in the light” then your life is known to others: “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). Be a truth professional and let the way you live your life and the way you say you live your life be one in the same and to the glory of God, and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all sin.

The Quest for Truth – John 18:37

“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.” This statement was made by Jesus to Pilate at His trial before Pilate. Pilate’s rhetorical question to Jesus in the following verse, “What is truth?” glibly dismisses the relevance of truth in the very presence of the One who is truth incarnate. Ironically, the one charged with determining the truth in the matter had no regard for the truth himself. Incredibly, Pilate sought no answer from the only One who was The Answer: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (vs. 14:6). People have not changed much over the last two thousand years. There are many who say that there is no truth or that truth is relative. If you have found truth in Jesus Christ, then you know that there is absolute truth in this post-modern world. But truth once discovered becomes a journey, not a destination. The pursuit of truth lasts a lifetime–it doesn’t stop with that initial understanding. It’s just that now you know where to find it. As a follower of Jesus, you are a lover of truth, a truth-seeker. Now you are involved in a lifelong quest for truth and God graciously reveals His truth–reveals Himself–to you as you seek after Him.