Readers Write: Truth

December 20, 2019

We asked readers to submit brief reflections on words associated with Advent. Below is a response on the word “truth.”

by Dr. Laura Miraz

Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
— John 1:17

We cannot underestimate the power of and. This simple three-letter conjunction makes a powerful difference.

Grace is God’s gift to humanity; grace is an unmerited, freely-given, loving favor from our creator to each human being. Truth, from the Greek word aletheia, means “to unhide, to make open and available for all to see what was previously hidden.” The word aletheia/truth is found 98 times in the New Testament, and 20 of those instances are in the Gospel of John.

John 1:14 tells us: “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” Consider Jesus’ interactions with others, demonstrating the fullness of his grace and truth. Jesus healed the sick, seeing their need and having compassion for them. Similarly, Jesus brought good news to the poor and oppressed, proclaiming freedom for all.

Jesus loved all people, even those chastised by society. The truth about Jesus is Jesus loves all, regardless of their human condition, their socio-economic-political status. Jesus is full of grace and truth. Jesus is love. It’s not an either/or but rather and. Jesus is both full of grace and truth. The Son of God, Jesus, is full of grace and truth.

And, Jesus is truth—aletheia—making open and available for all what was previously hidden. Jesus is the good news, freely given to all. Jesus is the way and the truth (John 14:6). Knowing Jesus, knowing truth is what will set us free (John 8:32). Jesus is the truth; Jesus personifies truth. Jesus is the source of all truth, the embodiment of truth and, therefore, the reference point for evaluating all claims of truth.

As Jesus’ disciples, let us manifest his love for all by being ourselves full of grace and truth in our relationships. Let us manifest Jesus’ grace and truth by loving our neighbors. Let us manifest Jesus’ grace and truth by working to liberate the oppressed and the wrongly imprisoned. Let us manifest Jesus’ grace and truth by welcoming the stranger among us. Let us manifest Jesus’ grace and truth by being instruments of peace in our communities.

Dr. Laura Miraz is American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) associate executive director of Human Resources Management Services and liaison for ABHMS’ board of directors.

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