Allegiance to the King


Christ The King

Dan 7: 13-14; Rev 1: 5-8; John 18: 33b-37

Dc. Larry Brockman

“The roots of all violence are found in the hatred of the truth.”  This is a quote from the 2008 Dean Koontz novel “Your Heart Belongs to Me”.  Let me say it again:  “The roots of all violence are found in the hatred of the truth.”  Thinking back, isn’t that what caused the trial and crucifixion of Jesus?  Because the Jewish leaders hated the truth that Jesus professed,  their hearts agitated and stirred to get rid of him any way they could.  Because their laws wouldn’t permit killing him for what he said, they turned him over to the Romans to do it.   And isn’t that what caused the horrible incidents of genocide in our past century?  Because people like Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot couldn’t handle the educated or wealthy classes which could challenge them with the truth.  And isn’t that what is behind abortion today?  Because people refuse to recognize the truth that a fetus is a human being, a life worthy of living, just like their own.   

Now in today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about how He is a King, but He is not your typical King.  He clearly testified to Pilate that he was not a king in an earthly sense-  he was not challenging secular powers to be the power that ruled secular society- Oh no.  Rather, He says His Kingdom is not of this World.  Because the emphasis of Jesus Kingdom is not on power; but rather, the emphasis is on truth.  Specifically, Jesus says:  “For this I came into the world, to testify to the truth, everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice”. 

Now right after this Gospel reading, Pilate responds to Jesus with the statement:   “What is truth?”  Indeed, this was a problem in society at Jesus’ time.  The authorities did not agree on the truth.  And it seems to me that the same thing is true today.  Our society no longer agrees on the truth.  The leadership in our society has asked the same question- What is truth?

Certainly, truth is not always simple.  And that’s what our educated secular society tries to tell us.  So let’s talk abut truth for a minute.   

One of my references had an interesting view of truth.  It said that the Truth can be viewed from three different perspectives.  First, there are the facts.    Facts seem to establish the truth-  because facts are what is generally agreed to have happened.  The car was white; his eyes are blue.  At first blush, these details seem to be the facts.  And yet, people can fail to recognize the most important fact  by concentrating on obvious details and not their meaning.  Let me give an example.  When Jesus died on the cross, the fact is that He did it to show his love for us, the point is that the fact of an incident is not so much the sum of all the details that make it up, as it is the meaning behind all the details that make it up.   

Second, truth includes the morality of something.  It is the right way of behaving in a given situation.  It is the “true blue” approach.  Jesus death on the cross bore witness to obedience to what was right and true for Him; it was Jesus obedience to the call of His conscience, not obedience to his physical welfare, or a quest for self indulgence.  The truth, then, is that which brings forth righteousness in our hearts, not in our physical comforts.   

Third, the truth implies trustworthiness and dependence.  When we say that a friend is true, we mean that we can count on them.  They are trustworthy and honest, even when that may seem uncomfortable.  You can depend on the truth; you cannot depend on a lie. 

Now these three perspectives of truth-   The way things really are; the rightness of things; and trustworthiness- these are all totally consistent with the Love Jesus had for us.  And so, Jesus certainly did testify to the truth, to Love in His words and deeds.   

What about us? Do we know the truth for us?  In the past, our society was a mirror of Christian Morality.  What inspired our laws and the interpretation of them was the Christian values which were an integral part of our popular culture.  But I don’t think that is true any more.  American society today has been secularized, just like the Roman World was secularized.  Society is offended by the display of the ten commandments; by marriage being defined as between a man and a woman; and by prayer in the schools.  Society today doesn’t know what truth is.  So, we can no longer trust society to lead us to the truth.  Rather, we have to seek it out.  You can do that in many different ways- by seeking out what the Church does teach on the issues of the day; by reading the Bible and studying it; but most especially, by prayer which leads to direct conversation with God and the graces that flow from it.   

Why do all of us need to seek and understand the truth?  Because we all want to be part of Jesus Kingdom.  Life on this earth ends, but life in Jesus Kingdom is everlasting.  How do we get there?- by testifying to the truth with our lives.  The last line of the Gospel says it well:  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.   

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