Lesson Eight – Truth


Lesson Aim:  To show that Jesus Christ provides the truth for the questions of mankind.


Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure from this earth when He said to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”  John 14:6.  This dynamic declaration was made approximately five hundred years too late to help a young Indian man in his struggle to understand human suffering.  According to tradition, Gautama, an Indian prince pursued the answer to the problem of human suffering by listening to various teachers for six years.  When they gave him no satisfactory answers he began to follow an extreme ascetic life.   Although this almost killed him, he was left without an answer to human suffering.  His next venture led him to focus on intense meditation.  One day while sitting under a tree he arrived at the Four Noble Truths which is the heart of early Buddhist teachings.  Gautama, or Prince Siddhartha, is Buddha.   The Four Noble Truths are as follows:

1. All is suffering.

2. Suffering is caused by desire.

3. To cut off desire is to be rid of suffering.

4. This is accomplished by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

This man sat down under a tree and decided all of life is suffering.  His conclusion was that people should follow the Eightfold Path to nirvana.  Nirvana means a “snuffing out” of a flame or cessation.  Gautama believed in reincarnation; however, to him there was no life after death because he did not believe in a permanent self.  He believed if a person attained nirvana, his or her life would be snuffed out at death – never to be reincarnated again.  His best answer to the problem of human suffering was if there was no life there would be no suffering.

Millions of Buddhists are still seeking nirvana or cessation of life because one young man attained his answers by meditation.  Christians can go to Jesus Christ through His word and find the truth, the way and the life.  Gautama did not have a source of truth for his questions.  His failure in his quest for truth should help us appreciate the impact of truth on a Christian’s life.  Truth from Jesus also has an impact on the alien sinner who is seeking “the pearl of great value.”  Matt. 13:46.

In this lesson we want to recognize Jesus as Rabboni; however, our main endeavor will be to show the great impact of truth, itself, on the mental environment for those of us in Christ and those in the world who are looking for answers.


Jesus would have told this young prince human suffering can be used by God, our Father, to develop the character and personality of Christians to be His children (Heb. 12:5, 6).  The real question Gautama and all of us should ask is: “What is of the utmost importance about our life?”  If we ask Jesus for the truth about the life of our inner-man, He tells us the well being of our spirit is of utmost importance.  This is true because we were created to be children of God.  Furthermore, Jesus tells us He is the way from where ever we are right now to this truth.  Also, He tells us His life is what we will have when we arrive.  Human suffering and other experiences can be moved from the negative to the positive when we know the truth.

Even though their motives were evil, the Pharisees and the Herodians properly identified Jesus when they said, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for you are not partial to any.”  Matt. 22:16.  Christian teachers must let Jesus furnish the material for our lessons.  It must be, as He said, “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your teacher, and you are all brothers.” Matt. 23:8. 

Jesus proved He should be called teacher because of His ability to simplify deep concepts of the kingdom with His parables; however, His right to say, One is your teacher,” is because He is truth.  The Apostle John said, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”  John 1:17Jesus presents Himself as truth.  We can direct our questions about life to Him, but we must ask the right questions.  Gautama was concerned about human suffering.  Jesus would have told him suffering is not the issue.  “Discipline by tribulation” is what we should ask Him about (Rom. 5:3-5).  God’s sonship program demands discipline.  Tribulations must usually be brought to bear upon a life before lasting Christ-likeness can be developed by discipline.  Those of us who are seeking answers to complex and perplexing questions must form our questions during our periods of meditation.  Consider the following:

When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.  Psa. 73:16, 17

We must meditate about our lives in order to be able to form questions about ourselves to ask Jesus.  Prayer and fasting may be necessary when we are dealing with profound issues (Luke 5:35; Acts 13:2, 3).  Remember, we are not seeking answers through our meditations; we are trying to form the appropriate questions for the occasion.  Jesus will give us the right answers.  It is precisely at this point Jesus, as truth, becomes the “light of the world” to us, personally (John 8:12).

He is also the way and this must be understood for truth to have its potential impact.  The word “way” suggests there are at least two points involved.  We who are asking the question are at the question point.  The other point is the truth point.  The truth point is the answer to the question we are asking.  It is where we wish to be.  Jesus is the way between the two points.

We fully understand the difference between obtaining the answer to a question and enjoying the answer as a part of our lives.  For instance, we might ask Jesus why we were created.  His answer is: “Conform to His image, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  Rom. 8:29.  We understand it is one thing to know we were created to be a son of God; however, to be a son of God demands a movement from where we are to this truth.  Jesus is the way.  He is the truth and He is the way to the truth.  He will give us an answer to our question about what is the utmost important part of our life, but first we must ask Him the right question.

We must understand where we are in relation to the question we want answered.  If we think we are saved when, in fact, we are lost, we will be asking Jesus the wrong questions about our present situation.  If an alien sinner asks Jesus about salvation, His answer is; “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  John 3:3.  If an unfaithful Christian asks Jesus about salvation, His answer is: “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.”  Acts 8:22.  If a faithful Christian inquires about salvation, Jesus will say it can be attained through the process of sanctification (II Thess. 2:13).  After we have His answer, which is spiritual growth, Jesus is the way to His answer because he is the law of life.

Jesus is life.  We will now consider the relationship of this fact to the foregoing concepts of Jesus as the truth and the way.  Our aim is to know the impact of truth on the environment “in Christ.”   Let us consider how the truth of God, or truth of Christ, is presented in context in the following scriptures.  Paul said, “the truth of Christ is in me.”  II Cor. 11:10.  He also said, “truth is in Jesus.”  We can learn Christ (Eph. 4:20, 21).  He told Timothy God desires for all people to “come to the knowledge of the truth.”  I Tim. 2:4.  Peter said Christians have been “established in the truth.”  II Peter 1:12.  John said Christians “practice the truth” and this truth should be in us (I John 1:8; 2:4-6).  The thought we want to grasp is that we can become the truth we receive.  This is the way Christians have life, as in eternal life.

Now let us apply this thought to the fact that Jesus declared Himself to be life.  We will see how this relates to the first two declarations; He is the way and the truth.  Since Jesus is truth, the alien sinner can ask Him what His Creator has in mind for him.  Jesus will say, he is to be adopted “in Christ” as a son of God (Eph. 1:5).  He is the way to this truth (Gal. 3:26, 27).  As the sinner begins to accept Jesus as the way and the truth he moves into this truth.  The way is through the new birth and it cannot be travelled without Jesus.  We can read the following list of scriptures to relate to Jesus as the way to become a Christian:  John 1:12, 13; Col. 2:9-14; I Peter 1:22, 23.  After a person has travelled this way with Jesus he or she will have passed out of death and into life (John 5:24).

Let it be said again for clarity.  The true answer to a sinner‘s question about his purpose in life is, “he can be a son of God.”  Jesus offers the only way to be born again; therefore, He is the way to become a son of God.  After going through the processes of the new birth with Jesus we have life in Christ.  After we arrive, we have life; therefore, truth and life become synonymous.  When we became a Christian we literally put on the answer to our question.  We moved from the point of our question to the answer.  We arrived at truth and this truth became life.  The truth made us free from death and gave us freedom through enlightenment (John 8:32).

Now this alien sinner has transferred out of the world and into Christ’s kingdom (Col. 1:13, 14).  Since he or she is a “babe,” an answer to a new question is needful (I Cor. 3:1).  It should be about Christian maturity.  The admonition of the Hebrew writer is this, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity… and this we shall do if God permits.” Heb. 6:1-3.  We can ask Jesus the truth about a mature Christian.  He tells us to look at Him (Eph. 4:15, 16).  He is the way.  As we travel on the way of spiritual growth we will conform to His character (I Pet. 2:21; I John 2:6).  He is the life (Gal. 2:20).  Our final arrival will be on the Day of Judgment when we inherit eternal life (Matt. 19:29).  We will have put on truth (1 Pet. 5:10).

Jesus becomes the light of life to us when we become enlightened by truth.  This truth is found in His words in the Bible and not through meditation or from our own wisdom.  Jesus prayed to God that He would “…sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”  John 17:17.  The Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth (John 16:33).

Jesus came into the world to bear witness to the truth and be our king.  Everyone who are of truth are citizens of His kingdom (John 18:37, 38).  It is ironical how Pilate asked the One who is truth, “What is truth?”  Pilate agreed to have Jesus killed before he received an answer to his question.  His question would have been easy for Jesus to answer if he had just taken time to listen.

James states God, “…in the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.”  James 1:18.  It is possible for Christians to stray from truth (James 5:19)Paul spoke to Timothy “…of men who have gone astray from the truth.”  He spoke of others who oppose the truth, “and those who will turn away from truth to myths.”  II Tim. 2:18; 3:8; 4:4.  It is great to know that wherever we are we can ask Jesus a question and receive the truth.  But first we must think about our life long enough to ask the right question.  Sleepers don’t ask questions.  Paul said, “For this reason it says; Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Eph. 5:14.

For Christians who are awake in Christ, the kingdom of God becomes visible.  Paul said, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”  Eph. 5:13.  Truth helps Christians perceive absolute reality.  When we know what is good and what is evil before we get involved in a situation, we can make the right choice (Rom. 12:9, 21; 16:19).  We can choose good.  This is important since we have this knowledge as a part of our mental faculties because we came from Adam (Gen 3:22; I Cor. 15:48).  Jesus chose good every time because He knew the truth about every situation.  He did a lot of praying and meditating in order to keep the truth about life “out in front.”  Luke 6:12.

The blessing of truth “in Christ” is appreciated even more when we consider the alternate.  The world is in darkness and they are guided through their dark walk by those who are blind.  Jesus said, “Every plant which My Heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up.  Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.  And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”  Matt. 15:13, 14.

The impact of truth on Christians’ mental and spiritual environment becomes obvious when we think of the negative answers about life in Buddhist teaching.  Gautama decided on spiritual suicide as his main goal in life.   He taught the cessation of life as the only solution to the problem of human suffering.  On the other hand, the Apostle Paul said enlightened Christians exult in tribulation (Rom. 5:3).  James said to count it a joy to encounter tribulations so that we might be perfect and complete (James 1:3, 4).  What a difference in these approaches to life!  What a difference in the way and outcome of a persons’ life!  What made the difference?  The truth!

The great contribution of truth on the environment of a Christian is; we have a source to which we can direct our questions.  When we ask the correct questions in the proper sequence Jesus will give us the answer for the Bible.  We need not experiment with our lives as people do in the world realm.  When Jesus admonishes us to “try it, you will like it,” we know we will because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why does Jesus qualify as the One teacher?
  2. Explain the aim of this lesson.
  3. Who was Prince Siddhartha?
  4. How does Gautama’s quest for truth help us to better appreciate the impact of truth on our environment?
  5. In what way did Buddha ask the wrong question?
  6. How does Jesus; as the truth, the way and life relate to an alien sinner?
  7. What is the value of meditation?
  8. What does the word “way” suggest in relation to truth and life?
  9. How does the concept of Jesus as the way relate to Christian maturity?
  10. What concept should we grasp about the truth of God and the truth of Christ?
  11. When is Jesus our life?
  12. What is ironical about Pilate’s encounter with Jesus?
  13. What is the hope for the Christian who has strayed from the truth?
  14. What is the difference between a Christian’s and a Buddhist’s view of human suffering?
  15. What must we be able to form before we can get the truth?

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