“Sir, I perceive you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
She knows that prophets are meant to know things. She wants an answer to the age old question; Where is the right place to worship? Here or there? She is about to find the right answer to an argument that has raged for centuries! What a moment for this woman.
“Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.”
Maybe his answer surprised her? He reveals a different perspective.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship him.”
Jesus says there’s a different way of seeing this. Not about which place, or who, is right or wrong, but about Spirit and Truth. If he had answered one or the other, then one nation would have been right and one wrong. One place would have been right, the other wrong. One would be disqualified, the other verified.
Isn’t that the way Jesus does things? He simplifies things, and he unites the nations rather than dividing the nations. He opens up the possibility to all of eating and drinking of himself. He validates the worship of all those who are in harmony in spirit with himself. And he opens up the possibility of harmony with others in himself.
This week Jesus has been talking with me about Truth. The first and most important thing he reminded me is that
“Truth is a person.”
This is profound for us all. Truth isn’t about information or theories, opinions or interpretations. Truth, THE Truth, is a person, Jesus himself. The absence of Truth and the lack of complete focus on him seems to lead us to division. Remember the phrase “Christ the great unifier”? (click here for that post.) There is something about being open to the Truth that brings unity.
So this is what he and I have been talking about this week.
“Truth (Jesus himself) isn’t concerned about being right. Nor is Truth concerned about proving others wrong. Truth, as a person, simply holds to himself.”
In my own self, I have witnessed my need to be right. That has changed in the last couple of years. Jesus said “judge not lest you be judged.” Well, guess what? I know how that works. It happens. You judge, you bring upon yourself judgement. So for the past couple of years I’ve been learning to fix my gaze on the One who is Truth instead.
The need to be right seems ingrained in us as humans. Jesus said this.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Knowing the Truth is knowing The Person. I wonder if in knowing the Truth, I am set free from my need to be right? And if I am free from my need to be right, I am also free from my need to prove others wrong. As he said to me today, “If you need to be right, you need someone else to be wrong.” Do I try to prove myself right and others wrong? Or do I simply reveal the Truth, Jesus himself?
Disagreement comes when we take sides, and each side needs to be right.
I don’t think Truth himself sets out to prove someone else wrong. If I set out with that agenda in my heart, that is not Truth himself. Truth simply reveals himself. And because Truth is Jesus Himself, I must also recognise that Truth is also Life, Love, Peace, and Joy. For example, “Love is patient, love is kind” and so on. My need to be right clouds him as the Truth. If I set out with the agenda in my heart to be right, to prove others wrong, will I also be Love, Life, Peace and Joy to others? No. If I need to prove myself right and others wrong, I will go to any length to do that, and I will hurt others in the process. That’s not Love, Light, Life, Peace or Joy.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that when I share the Truth, someone won’t get upset, or angry. It happens. But That’s where the fullness of Jesus himself comes in and brings Peace, or Joy or whatever he is that is needed.
It’s all about the intention of my heart though, isn’t it? If I set out to prove myself (my interpretation, my opinion or borrowed opinion, or my thought) right and someone else wrong, I will actually delight in someone else getting upset, or angry, or hurt. I will delight in the division created, rather than being able to rejoice that Truth has joined us together in himself, and revealed himself as Love, Peace, Joy and Life also. When people leave a conversation with me, if they are open to Jesus himself, they should always leave encouraged, strengthened, enthused and having experienced Jesus himself.
“Love rejoices with the Truth.” So these go hand in hand, because they are one and the same person. I might say that it’s important that we are “speaking the truth in love.” But how easily is that instruction abused? Do I see how many times I have spoken what I believe to be truth (note the small t), and yet have not spoken the Truth in Love? Am I aware of those times I have not shared Jesus himself? Those times when someone else has left our conversation upset, hurt, confused, disappointed, or angry. Or all of those things! Have I failed to see how I’ve delighted in upsetting others because I’m right and they’re wrong. How I’ve rejoiced in bringing others to my side, to join my crusade of rightness to further prove that the other person is wrong. How I’ve rejoiced at them getting angry and upset because of the intention in my heart to prove them wrong and myself right. Do I see how in the end I’ve delighted in division and separation rather than in harmony in Christ Jesus?
That’s not Truth himself. Father help us.
What is the answer? Christ is all. He himself is Truth. Reveal Jesus, we reveal absolute, perfect Truth. And we also reveal him as Love, Life, Peace and Joy and so on.
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. Let him be Truth through us today.