Blog May 2022 


“I tell you the truth.” The Lord used this term 26 times in John’s Gospel, sometimes translated, “truly, truly,” or “verily, verily”. Whenever Jesus used the term it was a ‘pin back your ears’, ‘listen carefully’ moment,!

John writes in chapter1:14, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Lord was full of both grace and truth. Sometimes we can stray into speaking the truth but without grace. At other times we think that grace precludes speaking the truth into a situation for fear of causing offence or lacking the courage to confront a serious issue. Grace and truth belong together.

When he wrote his three short letters, John made reference to “the truth”. In 1 John 2:20. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.” A further ten times in 2 John and 3 John he uses the same expression. Clearly, it was not just that truth matters, but that there was an established body of early Christian teaching that was agreed and acknowledged as ‘the truth’.

Right now we are living in an era where truth does not seem to matter to some leaders on the world stage. Vladimir Putin is delusional, deceiving his own people. Our own British Prime Minister is under scrutiny as to whether or not he has told the truth and, it has to be said, he pushes the bounds of credibility. Why are so many indignant? Because truth matters.

Truth is one of the essential foundations of trust - in marriage and family life, in church, in community and in public life. It is the essential component of integrity. When truth is put aside, integrity is compromised. The opposite of truth is lies. When truth is sacrificed for supposed personal or national gain, the opposite happens. It is the cancer of lies that leads to disintegration of relationships, destruction of cohesion in society and enmity between nations. Jesus, speaking of the Devil said, “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:43b-44. We see the consequences of Satan’s lies all around us. Paul calls for the church to and individual Christians to be different. Writing to the Ephesian Christians says, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25.

May God, through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, enable us to grow in Christ-likeness by increasingly being ‘full of grace and truth’. May He also keep us faithful in prayer for leaders, especially political leaders at this potentially dangerous time, to speak truth and to live and lead with integrity. May He also give us grace and courage to call out politicians or others when we believe that truth is being compromised on the altar of self- promotion. Truth matters.

Mike Stear 01.05.2022