So far we have learned from John chapter eighteen about the nature and essence of Truth. The nature of truth is that it is objective and found outside of us. The essence of truth we learned is not simply an idea or concept; rather it is Jesus Christ Himself. He is truth in that every word He speaks and every action He takes is truth. Now let us examine what is the content of truth.
Truth is objective and it is Jesus Christ Himself. But what is truth’s content? Jesus said to Pilate that He had, “come to this world to testify to the truth (John 18:37).” What is this truth Jesus is testifying about? On the one hand Jesus has come to testify about Himself since He is the Truth. However let’s examine other verses in John’s Gospel that specifically tell us what the content of truth is.
John the Baptist, speaking about Jesus, said that He was sent by God and that the One whom God sent, “speaks the words of God” (John 3:33). Jesus’ words of truth are the words of God.
Jesus was teaching in the temple one day and the Jews were amazed at His teaching because He had never been formally educated in the rabbinic schools like other great teachers. Jesus’ reply to this was, “My teaching is not Mine, but His [God the Father] who sent Me” (John 7:16).
Speaking to His disciples Jesus said, “He [God the Father] who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world” (John 8:26b). In verse forty of this chapter Jesus responded to the Jews who were seeking to kill Him. He said they were trying to kill a Man who told them the truth, “which I heard from God.”
John records Jesus’ high priestly prayer to God the Father. During this prayer Jesus prays for His disciples and asks God to, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:16). Jesus here is asking God the Father to purify and set His disciples apart as holy to Him. The process is for them to be purified and set apart to the truth, which is God’s word.
I hope it is clear from these verses what the specific content of truth is. The content of truth is God’s Word. Jesus’ words and actions are the essence of truth, yet Jesus further says that everything He says was from God the Father. Jesus repeatedly called God the Father’s words the truth. This is the truth that He came to testify to.
John begins His entire Gospel by talking about the Word of God becoming flesh and entering this world. From context we know that John was saying Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-5, 14). John is teaching that Jesus Christ is the very mind and revelation of God the Father, and He was sent to this earth as a man to speak God’s Truth to this world. Truth is objective, not subjective; truth is authoritative, not suggested; truth is Jesus Christ’s words and actions; and truth is the very words of God.
We have been blessed, especially in the English speaking world, because God has preserved for us His words. God commissioned His chosen prophets and Apostles to write down for us His word, His truth. The compilation of these chosen writers and their writings is the Bible.
The Bible is not just another book of religious wisdom or wise sayings; it is the very words of God that He has mercifully given us to be able to read. So what are the contents of truth? We can say it is God’s words which are preserved in the Bible. Every word of every page is the truth of God. Every action we see Jesus taking in the Bible is equally the truth of God.
Let us not ignore the implications of all this. The Bible, as God’s Word, contains the objective, authoritative truth that all humans must adhere to. This means all the truth of God that He desired us to know is the contents of the Bible. Sometimes it seems though that people misunderstand the relationship of the Bible to the truth. I have frequently heard it said, “It’s true because it’s in the Bible.” This is not a proper way of thinking about the Bible in relation to truth. Rather we should say, “It’s in the Bible because it’s true.” The Bible’s contents are truth and only the truth, but the Bible itself does not make anything to be true. Rather the Bible contains only that which is the truth of God. Whatever is in the Bible was already the truth before it was written in the Bible.
Seek to know the content of truth, which is God’s words; these words are found in the pages of the Holy Bible. God’s words are objective and authoritative and to seek God’s words is to truly seek the truth.