Ryan Burgett, August 15, 2012
What is the pursuit of truth? Ask many people this question and chances are that you will get many responses. Some pursue truth through observing nature. Others pursue it through studying books. Some think they can find truth through science and other find it by digging deep inside their own souls. But there is one large block of people which would most likely agree on what it is. Within the church, most would say that the pursuit of truth is the study of the scriptures. I have to agree, to an extent, but while truth is found in the scriptures, it is not the summation of truth.
As I have written before, truth is a person, Jesus. He told his followers, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14.6). So if we are pursuing truth in its fullness, we must be pursuing Jesus. I would then define the pursuit of truth as: the focused pursuit of Jesus in EVERYTHING.
This means that when we read and study the Bible, we are actually pursuing Jesus in the pages. We are not merely observing disconnected lines of truth, we are reading the revelation of Jesus. If we look at the scriptures apart from Him, we are led to wrong conclusions about God, life, salvation and many other things. In John 5.39, Jesus observed that the Jews loved to “search the Scriptures” thinking that within them they would find “eternal life.” But then He pointed out that they were missing the point because the scriptures are “these which testify of Me.”
I heard many times in Bible college that “the New Testament is just commentary on the Old Testament.” I parroted that for a few years, but realize now that I was totally wrong. The truth is that the Old Testament was a progressive record of revelation pointing toward Jesus. Then Jesus–the Truth–came. The rest of the New Testament then is not commentary on the old, but commentary on Jesus. In Jesus we are able to see the “fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2.9). In Hebrews 1.3 we read that Jesus is the “express image” of the person of God. Colossians 2.17 points out that the OT scriptures were a “shadow of things to come” but the “substance is of Christ.” And what about the New Testament? The author of Hebrews points out that God has been speaking in these “last days by his Son” (Heb 1.2) and we all remember the rebuke God gave Peter where He said, “This is my beloved Son… hear HIM!” (Mat 17.5) So whether you are in the Old Testament or New Testament, the complete truth can ONLY be found by looking at it through Jesus. As I said before, the pursuit of truth is the pursuit of Jesus.
But then can we only find truth by pursuing Jesus in the Bible? The obvious answer is no! If we pursue Jesus in everything we study, everything we observe, everything we take part in, then we will find truth everywhere! If our focus is on Jesus, the lines between “sacred” and “secular” fall apart and we are able to find truth in everything. This is not to say that there are equal amounts of truth to be found in everything, but it is to say that because Jesus is the Creator of everything and author of all we see, we cannot help but find his fingerprints in everything.
We will never find complete truth apart from Jesus, whether inside or outside of the Bible. We need Jesus. He is our complete sustenance. Truth is found in the focused pursuit of Him.