Can it really have been two months since I last blogged? To anyone who checks regularly for updates, I apologize for the number of times you have been disappointed.
Over the last several weeks, I've had a reasonable excuse. For the first time in my life, I was selected for jury duty, and after four days of jury selection, I found myself seated as juror #11. (I ended up as juror #5 because I switched chairs with a much shorter juror, but that's another story for another day.) Every day for the last three weeks, I've gone and sat all day in the jury box rather than in my office. This experience was long, difficult, and taxing in many ways, and yet a very intriguing process.
I went naively into the proceedings, believing that the truth would be easy to spot. Either he did, or he didn't, how difficult could that be? Yet as the lawyer's brought in a parade of witnesses, and each side had the chance for examination, cross examination, re-direct and re-cross, it became evident that the truth would be hiding in many shades of grey. A witness would come in, sound reliable and believable, but then the opposing side would pose questions that quickly shot holes in the testimony.
After 11 days of witnesses, our group of jurors was sent to a small, closet-like room to determine what was true. For over 10 hours we wrangled back and forth, primarily trying to determine which statements could be believed and which ones could not. Thanks goodness for a reasonable amount of physical evidence, or we would still be haggling over the truth of each witnesses' statements.
Many people would like to approach faith the same way as a jury trial. The witness stand gets filled with different voices who tell their side of the story. Aristotle argues from the universe, Locke from logic and reason, Buddha talks of harmony, Muhammad points to the Koran while Gandhi speaks of peace, Jesus testifies to sacrifice and Yoda explains the force. We are tempted to conclude that in this arena, the truth lingers in the shadow of each testimony, waiting to be discovered by us, the eager seeker.
This approach may have merit in ascertaining a person's guilt or innocence, but it is a faulty system in deciding what is true. You see, on this witness stand, one person alone makes unique claims for truth. While many portend to speak on God's behalf, only one witness dares assert that He is from God and that He is God. Jesus makes claims that separate him from all other voices and these claims leave us in a place where we must make a crucial decision. Either Jesus is truth because He is God, and all that he has said is true, or it is all a lie. There are no shades with Jesus. He doesn't invite us to enjoy some of his statements while rejecting others. We aren't given permission with Jesus to blend his words with Buddha, Gandhi, and Yoda. He is either truth, or he is nothing. All others who wish to make claims about truth must put their words up against his. As author C.S. Lewis has pointed out, Jesus was either a fantastic liar, a raving lunatic, or he was everything he claimed to be: Son of God and Lord over all.
How are you handling Jesus' words? Are you searching for half-truths hidden in shades of gray, or have you embraced the words of Jesus as absolute truth in your life?
May you live and walk in the rock solid truth of Jesus Christ as you journey in this life.