Have you ever had to describe someone you know, and struggled to find the right words? I certainly have, and I know I’m not alone. We all have those friends or acquaintances who defy easy description. But Jesus wasn’t like that. He was always clear and bold in his answers to the question, “Who are you?” One of my favorites is this answer he gives in John: “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 NLT).
This is what separates Jesus from every other leader of every other faith. Other leaders have said, “I’m looking for the truth” or “I’m teaching the truth” or “I point to the truth” or “I’m a prophet of truth.” Jesus comes and says, “I am the truth. Truth is not a principle, or a vague idea. Truth is a person, and that person is me.”
Here’s the interesting part. A claim like that forces us to choose: if we believe Jesus, then we must believe everything he says. But if we don’t, then it’s all worthless, because if someone who claims to actually be the truth is wrong, then so is everything they’ve ever said. There’s no watering it down. Either Jesus is the Truth, or he isn’t.
That’s why it’s so wonderful to know that he is. Because knowing the truth means trusting and living by what he says next: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT). Paul reminds us again in Galatians, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).
To know Christ is to know the truth that in him, we are free. Free from the judgment of our sin, and free to love others with the same radical love that he himself showed every day of his life here on earth. Free to hope in his sovereign rule and reign over all of history and all of creation.