“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NIV84)
Many think that adopting a concept of truth makes them intolerant and judgmental. They think that if they hold something to be true while someone else does not, that makes them judgmental and critical. So what do they do? They relativize morality and place everything in this huge gray area in the middle so as not to offend anyone. Does this sound familiar? Did you catch what is inherently wrong with this assumption? It is an absolute truth claim. It is stated as truth that there is no absolute truth and that all morality is relative. Ask someone if they really believe that to be true, and they will tell you yes. It is their concept of truth. My point is that there is no such thing as relativism. To proclaim it as a reality is to proclaim it as an absolute. There is no such thing as “blank slate” living. We each live our lives with basic assumptions of how the world works. That is our worldview.
But back to our verse above. John says of Jesus that He is full of “grace and truth”. Is it possible that truth does not need to be critical and judgmental? Can something be true and right and still be filled with love and grace? This is what makes the Gospel relevant to our world today. The Message of Jesus Christ is the only message in all the world that brings the concepts of truth and grace together. The world is cold and callous. Jesus reveals to us a God of love who wants to restore His children to His truth so that they might live abundant lives here on this earth and be certain of their eternal lives in heaven once they die. Jesus is the embodiment of grace and truth. His words reveal to us that there can be absolute truth and grace together. Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery, “Is there no one here to condemn you? She answers, “No!” And Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Jesus says to the thief on the cross, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise!”
As we live out our Christian lives, we are called to emulate Jesus’ life. As the Church, we are His body living out His ministry to the world until He returns to take us home. Our message to the world is not supposed to be judgment and criticism. It is supposed to be grace and truth.