Jesus is recorded as saying the words "I tell you truth," 78 times in the New Testament. The gospel of Matthew records 30 separate quotes from Jesus stating, "I tell you the truth." These words are found in the following passages:
|Matthew 5:18 5:26 6:2 6:5 6:16 8:10 10:15 10:23 10:42 11:11 13:17 16:28 17:20 18:3 18:13 18:18 19:23 19:28 21:21 21:31 23:36 24:2 24:34 24:47 25:12 25:40 25:45 26:13 26:21 26:34|
|Mark 3:28 8:12 9:1 9:41 10:15 10:29 11:23 12:43 13:30 14:9 14:18 14:25 14:30|
|Luke 4:24 9:27 12:37 12:44 18:17 18:29 21:3 21:32 23:43|
|John 1:51 3:3 3:5 3:11 5:19 5:24 5:25 6:26 6:32 6:47 6:53 8:34 8:51 8:58 10:1 10:7 12:24 13:16 13:20 13:21 13:38 14:12 16:7 16:20 16:23 21:18|
It is obvious from these 78 Scriptures that Jesus thought it was important for us to know that He was telling the truth. We can learn a lot from His dedication to the truth. First we can know that what Jesus taught was truth. Never did he lie, compromise, or deceive to make his point. He spoke the truth boldly, even when it upset those who did not agree with Him.
John 5:16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does...He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. 24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
When challenged by religious system of His day, Jesus always spoke the truth. He reprimanded those who were wrong and He taught what was right. He did so boldly. He knew that the truth would be divisive. He knew some would accept it and others would not.
John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first...If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
Many Christians today think that we should not discuss or debate doctrinal differences among us. They believe that we can be united and one in Christ without sharing the same opinions on what that means. While the Bible speaks of being united in the faith, it clearly teaches that there is but one faith to which we should be united in.
Eph 4:3-6 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
We should endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit, but that unity needs to be based upon the one faith. Some believe in a faith that is based upon works and another believes in a faith through Christ alone, there can be no unity because they hold to two separate faiths. The unity of the Spirit needs to be based upon that one faith.
Some believe in a Spirit that causes people to speak in unknown languages, experience drunken behavior and roll around uncontrollably on the floor. Another believes in a Spirit that only imparted gifts for the edification of the body before the Word of God was complete and no longer gives those gifts today. There can be no unity between them because these are different spirits. The unity needs to be based upon the one Spirit of the Bible.
Unity must be based upon the one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and one Father of all. There is only one of each and all have their own definitions. There can be no unity if any of these are defined differently.
Differences in doctrines lead to different beliefs and the unity has to be in the ONE true faith. That leads us back to Jesus' emphasis on the truth. The truth is important, the truth is relevant and there can only be one truth. By that example we should also speak the truth and we should be willing to expose those who are not.
John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
In order to be disciples of Jesus we have to hold to HIS teachings. We cannot hold onto the teachings of man that contradict Scripture. In order to be set free we have to know the truth. Christ clearly wanted us to know the truth, for He declared to us 78 times in the Bible that He was speaking the truth. There is only one way to be a disciple of Christ and only one way to know the truth that sets us free. We must read and study the Word of God to hear what Christ taught us. We must read and study the teachings of his apostles and we will learn from that the truth that sets us free. Our prayer is that everyone will desire to be guided by the truth of God's Word. We do strive for us to be united in the faith, but we realize that the faith must be the one truth faith that was declared in the inspired inerrant Word of God.Eph 4:2-16 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all... until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.