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Some seek truth, some do not. why?

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Twelve years ago, I had just begun leading Fellowship of Christian Athletes,1 and a clear change was afoot in our culture—Facebook was just becoming a thing with the teens, and I saw the pressure and harmful compulsion and comparison it caused. A well-loved sophomore, popular strong forward on the winning soccer team, had just ‘come out’ as gay. Note: this was an anomaly, clearly not so today. The students did not know quite what to make of it but loved him anyway. But then, Gage was hard not to love.

And there were clear delineations among the students in matters of faith. The ‘I’m an agnostic’, trendy college position was trickling down. I heard students make that statement, and when I asked what they meant by that, they did not even know.

There were those who were raised in ‘the Church’ who loved Jesus, but couldn’t explain the Truth that changes everything.

There were students whose parents did them a favor (they claimed) by not forcing religion on them, ‘letting them make up their own minds’. When in fact, they were just abdicating their responsibility in introducing their children to the truth of the historic Jesus, the powerful claims of the gospel, irrefutability of scriptural truth, and the love and peace of God that could be known in this life and forever. What kind of loving parent does that kind of favor? ->Unless of course, they did not know these things for themselves.

Then there were other students who came to FCA because they just had to know who Jesus was. They found their way to ‘huddles’ (our lunch-time gatherings), student leadership meetings and Sunday Night Live, when we had music, dinner and a life-changing message about walking with God. I can see their faces vividly in my mind even now.

You see, those who want to know truth are more alive than the rest. Truth seekers are not just adventurous but courageous, and they have a driving energy that is unique to truth-seeking. Courageous? Yes, because they know the answers they find might radically impact their lives.

John’s gospel describes such a man in the third chapter – Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, member of the ruling council of 72, the Sanhedrin, had to see Jesus for himself. Knowing what it could cost him, he came under the cloak of darkness, but nonetheless, he sought truth, and he found out Jesus was the embodiment of it.

So I wonder. I wonder if the unnamed Jewish leader who appears in the middle of Mark chapter 12 is Nicodemus. Hmmm. If not, it was one of his colleagues. He comes to the Temple area where Jesus is teaching to ask a sincere question, not merely to trick Jesus into saying something that would damn him before his listeners or the Romans. Jesus gives him the truth about the greatest commandment, which ought impact our choices every single day.

Upon awakening, before I even have my coffee and ponder ‘what is on tap for today?’ I know my highest pursuit is to Love the Lord with all of who I am—thoughts, heart, soul and strength, AND love my neighbor as much as I love myself.2

Nicodemus, if that is who asked the question, surely nodded his head approvingly at Jesus' answer. And then Jesus did what Jesus loved to do—He gave him more. He showed the truth seeker that indeed he alone was the Way, the Truth and the Life3... He was the long-awaited Messiah, Son of David. He does so by asking a mind-bending question, quoting from Psalm 110.

Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’

Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.4

Makes me smile. Why were the crowds delighted? Jesus did not just simply go toe-to-toe with the Long-robed religious leaders, he beats them at their own game, using scriptural truth they should have known about his lineage. The Son of David--the Messiah himself, shuts them down, leaving a challenging question in the air. Mic drop, Jesus.

For all who want to know the truth, Jesus stands up under every test. No thinking person doubts the existence of the Rabbi from Nazareth, who did miraculous signs and wonders, taught countercultural lessons, was crucified, and then walked out of the grave. 'Of course, the Bible--which isn't trustworthy anyway would record such things...' you say. True. But so did the most reliable historical sources of the day--such as Jewish historian Josephus and Roman historian Tacitus in his Annals.

Here is what we must bear in mind—many do not want to know the Truth. It might require something of them—like straightening up their lives. It is easier to claim nothing, safer to say I’m an agnostic.5

Tragically sad. First, this lazy position causes one to miss out on the greatest part of being alive—relationship with a living God, and second, it has disastrous consequences for that part of us that is eternal—our soul, which lives forever somewhere.

Truth: I am not talking about religion in this Morning Briefing, I am talking about the closest Friend you will ever have, Jesus--Israel's Messiah and our Lord. Just as he came on Sunday morning of that week, gentle and lowly, he comes to you, but you must let him in.

Truth, a song for your heart, mind, soul:


in the footsteps of Jesus, gospel of Mark, #41

1 – San Clemente High School, student population about 3200 then, a Division-1 athletic powerhouse, set in the idyllic town of all-things-surfing

2 – Mark 12.28-34

3 – John 14.6

4 – Mark 12.35-37

5 – Merriam-Webster – agnostic: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable

broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

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