Every word of Jesus recorded for us in Scripture is equally truthful, important, and essential for us to embrace, believe, and pattern our hearts and lives accordingly. Indeed, that is true of all of Scripture. So this post is not about establishing degrees of truth in Scripture. All Scripture is truth. However, there are those occasions when He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you…” What is Jesus conveying in this language, and how are we to respond?
When Jesus says “truly”, He means for us to know that what follows is unquestioned divine revelation to man. He is about to speak absolute, propositional truth, ultimate reality. When He says, “truly, truly”, there is no doubt that He is placing emphasis on what follows and means for every listener/reader to pay special attention. When He says, “truly, truly, I say to you”, He is indicating that He is directly addressing the following truth statement to His listeners/readers. He is not placing truth out in the open in some abstract way for us to ponder or debate. He is calling us to a decision about Him! We should feel the weight and force of those words every time we read them, for as all Scripture is inspired by God, when we read those words, Jesus is directly addressing us, the readers, with absolute, certain truth. Truth that will bear massive consequences in light of how we respond to it.
For example, in John 5:25,28-29 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live…for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgement.”
Massive, absolute truth given to us by Jesus as recorded in God’s sacred word. How are we to respond? Jesus actually tells us exactly how we are to respond in another absolute, truth claim in the previous verse. In v24 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life.”
We are to believe, and in believing, we are among those who “hear” and in hearing have eternal life! Jesus leaves no room for the nonsense of postmodernism’s rejection of absolute truth or the so-called streams of Christianity that deny, reject, or refuse to affirm the absolute truth claims of Scripture. Refusing to “hear” is unbelief. Refusing to embrace the propositional truth claims of Scripture are evidence that one remains spiritually dead.
Life, abundant and eternal, is found only in Jesus Christ. He not only made this claim, but He proved this claim in His life, death, and resurrection. When Jesus says, “truly, truly, I say to you”, we are to hear; we are to believe. In so doing, we have saving, everlasting life in Him! He means for us to do more than merely pay special attention; He means for us to believe and be saved from sin by trusting in Him!