What does Jesus mean by the truth?
Keyword: truth, true
With the words "true" and "truth" we usually denote the correspondence between a statement and the corresponding state of affairs. So we think of a relationship between reality and our thinking or speaking about it.
However, according to the Hebrew conception, truth is a quality that a thing or person or word has or does not have. Something is "true" when it keeps what it promises. "Truth" means reliability, that is: constancy and loyalty (as we speak of a "true friend" or a "true word").
This kind of "truth" belongs above all to God. Correspondingly, the message from God is also true, provided that the love of God is made known in it, which saves us from guilt and death (Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1: 5; 2 Thessalonians 2: 10-12).
The word "truth" plays a major role in the Gospel of John and in the letters of John. It denotes the reality of God that Jesus makes accessible to people. You experience this reality as "freedom" (John 8: 31-32), "light" (John 3:21) and "life" (John 14: 6). But it is only understandable to those who have already been moved by it (John 18: 37-38). After the death and resurrection of Jesus, "truth" remains accessible through the Spirit of God to people who profess Jesus (John 16: 12-15). This is why the Holy Spirit is also called the "Spirit of Truth" (John 14: 16-17; John 15:26). It should completely permeate the life of believers and determine their actions (John 4: 23-24; 1 John 1: 6-8; 1 John 2: 4).
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