“What is truth?” retorted Pilate… John 18:38
Do you remember the old story about the blind Indians and the elephant? The king was discussing the nature of truth, and someone suggested he bring in all the men born blind from a certain province. After touching various parts of an elephant, the men were asked to describe the elephant. Those who had touched the head described the elephant as a large round jar; those who had felt the ears said it was like a winnowing basket; those who had felt the tusks said it was like a plow; those who had touched the body said it was like a granary; those who touched the feet said the elephant was like a pillar; those who touched the back said it was like a mortar; the tail was like a pestle to others; the tuft was like a broom. Then began a great dispute among them all, and finally a wise man said, those who “perceive only one side of a case disagree with one another.”
Jesus defined himself with one of his “I AM’s”: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Truth as in reality, actuality, factual. An absolute, universal, non-variable Truth. But have you ever considered the possibility that you do not yet know all Truth? That you possibly only understand “one side of the case?” Paul said, “Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!” (I Corinthians 13:9)
I could barely make it to my car before the tears began to flow after I’d just concluded teaching a Bible study. Our topic had been God’s love, and my students had the temerity to suggest that God’s love was more than intellectual and spiritual acceptance of us as his children. That God’s love could touch our emotions and soul and could wrap us in his warmth while healing our brokenness. I was so frustrated with their lack of understanding God’s majesty and position of authority over us. How could they be so frivolous and bring God down to our level?
And that’s when I began studying and learning about the incarnation: God becoming man, experiencing and understanding humankind, touching and loving us with eternal love, living and dying for us to bring transformation unavailable in any other way. That Bible study with those ladies whom I thought were so unlearned revealed to me another “side of the case” that I’d not even considered.
So, how about your truth? Is it all locked up in a box and secure against any fresh revelation, any new work of the Holy Spirit? I am NOT talking about compromise with God’s written Word. I am speaking about arrogant, close-mindedness in which we think we know it all—like Job’s friends. When you are confronted with “another side,” can you listen with love and patience thinking that this might be a fresh ministry of the Spirit to reveal even more of God’s precious Truth?
Father, you are so infinite that we will never be able to grasp more than a fraction of your truth until we meet you in eternity. Guard our minds against deception, but keep us always open to hearing your Truth even through the mouth of a little child. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.