The field commander for Sennacherib, King of Assyria, came to a place along the wall of the city of Jerusalem and began to spout about how the people in the City shouldn’t believe what Hezekiah was telling them. And he spoke in Hebrew so everyone sitting on the top of the wall could understand what he was saying.
He wanted them to believe that what he was saying was the truth. That brings us to the question that Pilate asked Jesus, “What is the truth?”
What is the truth? Two weeks ago this coming Tuesday people all over the United States voted for people they believed were the best to be the leaders of their communities, their state, their nation. After listening to debates and countless television advertisements the chose the ones they believed, the ones they believed were telling the truth.
So, this field commander for the King of Assyria is standing outside the walls of Jerusalem shouting in Hebrew about all the power that he wields, about all the cities and nations the army has conquered and destroyed. He is shouting to the folks sitting on the walls to not trust King Hezekiah. He can’t protect them and neither can the God of Israel. Everything King Hezekiah has been telling them is lies. Everything the field commander is saying is, of course, the truth. What is the truth?
As most of you know I go to coffee every day and, of course, I hear a lot of stories, some true and some not and some a variation of the truth. How do I know? I know because I’ve found out later when I talk to the person the stories are about that what I heard was pretty far off the mark. Therefore, I don’t believe everything I hear as the gospel truth.
What is the truth? The One and Only Truth is…Jesus. As he said in the gospel of John, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” So, the only truth is Jesus. Whatever I read in the Bible that Jesus said I believe to be the truth as it’s revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.
My friends, I want you to know that you shouldn’t even take everything I say as the truth either. I say that because, as you all know, I make mistakes. I get things messed up. I turn things around…and I’m a sinner…
Saved by God’s grace but still…a sinner who doesn’t get things right. So, what I’m saying this morning is the only ‘truth’ any of us can believe in and trust is God’s truth spoken by Jesus and revealed to us by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Just as in the days of King Hezekiah rumors are flying everywhere. And most of them we don’t want to believe…and shouldn’t. So, how do we combat rumors and how do we discover the truth?
In the first place we can refuse to play the rumor game. We can make our best effort to live like Jesus. What I mean is that we can love our neighbors, love ourselves with the love that Jesus had for his disciples and us.
The rumors we can believe are the rumors like the one in Isaiah 2 that talks about God’s glory, that describes a world of peace and love. We can do a lot for our community and the world by spreading that rumor.
My friends, God’s message from Jesus is the truth. That we can believe. That rumor we can spread far and wide.
God calls us to go into this world of rumors and live as Christians who love each other, love their neighbors, enemies and all, and love God spreading the story of God’s Kingdom here on earth and kingdom to come.
So, what do you think? What is the truth?