Do You Want to Hear the Truth?
WHEN a child is caught telling a lie, it is likely to be punished. Parents want to hear the truth from their children.
When your government asks you for income tax, they want to hear the truth. They would not appreciate it if you lied about your income, and they could take action against you.
A husband and wife want to hear the truth from each other. It distresses and angers them for one to practice deception on the other.
People generally want to hear the truth from others in life’s daily activities. They resent it when they feel or know others are not telling them the truth.
Yet, while most persons want to hear the truth in such matters, it is a sad fact that when it comes to even more important matters dealing with life and death, with one’s relationship to God, and with one’s obligations to his fellowman, many do not want to hear the truth.
For instance, when Jesus Christ walked the earth he performed many marvelous things for the people’s benefit. He did so much good that “great crowds approached him, having along with them people that were lame, maimed, blind, dumb, and many otherwise, and they fairly threw them at his feet, and he cured them; so that the crowd felt amazement as they saw the dumb speaking and the lame walking and the blind seeing, and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matt. 15:30, 31) Not only did Jesus perform these powerful works, but he also fulfilled in detail the many things foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures about the Messiah. Humble people were happy to see and acknowledge him. They were glad to hear the truth about this wonderful man.
On one occasion Jesus encountered a man who had been born blind. How pitiful! What this man would have given to have someone restore his sight! Jesus did just that. Using the miraculous power given to him by God, he restored this man’s sight! But was everybody happy to hear about this? No. Some were not. In fact, the healed man was led before religious leaders, the Pharisees, who asked him how he regained his sight. He told them it was Jesus who had healed him. Yet, in the face of verified evidence, they said of Jesus: “This is not a man from God, because he does not observe the Sabbath.”—John 9:16.
So prejudiced were they against Jesus that they would not acknowledge the truth concerning him or what he had done for this blind man. When they asked the one who had been blind what he thought of Jesus, he said: “He is a prophet.” (John 9:17) Even the man’s parents were called to testify, and they stated: “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.” There was no doubt about it. He had been born blind and Jesus had healed him. But the Pharisees called the blind man again and stated bluntly concerning Jesus: “We know that this man is a sinner.” The blind man, knowing the truth, answered: “One thing I do know, that, whereas I was blind, I see at present.” Then he added: “This certainly is a marvel, that you do not know where he [Jesus] is from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he listens to this one. From of old it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing at all.”—John 9:18-33.
That should have convinced them! But truth does not convince those who do not like to hear it. Nor did it in this case, for the reaction of the Pharisees was as follows: “In answer they said to him: ‘You were altogether born in sins, and yet are you teaching us?’ And they threw him out!” (John 9:34) The Pharisees could not face up to the truth. They did not want to hear it, so proud and prejudiced were they.
On another occasion, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This too was verified by many witnesses. How happy the friends and relatives of Lazarus were at this great manifestation of God’s power working through Jesus! Why, even some who had not previously believed in Jesus did so then: “Many of the Jews that . . . beheld what he did put faith in him.” (John 11:45) But what of the Jewish supreme court and the priests? Above all others, these were the ones that should have been willing to hear the truth. Instead, they said of Jesus: “If we let him alone this way, they will all put faith in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Yes, they were worried about their power and prestige. The truth did not interest them. Therefore, unbelievable as it may seem, “from that day on they took counsel to kill [Jesus].”—John 11:48, 53.
If that sounds incredible, equally incredible was what followed: “The chief priests now took counsel to kill Lazarus also, because on account of him many of the Jews were going there and putting faith in Jesus.”—John 12:10, 11.
No doubt about it. Those religious leaders did not want to hear the truth. Yet thousands of others heard and accepted it, although these did not include the proud, the prejudiced, or those hungering for power and money. Humble persons, those who loved God, who loved what is right, were the ones that accepted the truth.
Do you love truth? Would you have listened to the truth about Jesus in his day? Do you say, Yes? Then what about today? Do you want to hear the truth as Jesus preached it? If so, do not let pride or prejudice close your ears to truth. Do as God-fearing persons in the first century did. Analyze what you are told about God and his purposes. Listen to those who want to explain the Bible to you. Compare what you hear with the facts found in your own copy of God’s Word.—Acts 17:11.
Whatever the cost in time or effort, “buy truth itself and do not sell it—wisdom and discipline and understanding.” By so doing you will please God, in whose hands your future lies.—Prov. 23:23.