Summary: Over the years I've learned that I've got to be careful who I trust and listen to. I've found that the experts can even be wrong? So if I can't even be sure of the experts... who can I listen to that I can always trust?
OPEN: (I put a copy of the covers of the “National Enquirer” and the “Globe” on screen side by side)
How many of you ever seen these magazines at the supermarket? These are what are known as “tabloid magazines.” As you can tell from the headlines, these are not reliable news sources. In fact, they are the original fake news outlets.
Now, would you expect me to go out buy these magazines? Of course not. Most if not all the material inside their pages are sensationalist stories which are entirely made up. I can’t trust them, and so I don’t want to build my thinking around what they tell me. I don’t want them influencing how I think.
In fact, there are many resources that I’ve got to be careful about. I once read that Abraham Lincoln had warned “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.”
And over my lifetime I’ve found I can’t trust everything a politician tells me, and I can’t always trust everything a salesman tells me. But oddly enough, over the years I’ve learned to even question things that experts tell me: Theologians, Ph.Ds., and even some scientists. It’s not that I believe these people are necessarily lying to me, but I’ve noticed that even these people can have biases they don’t realize they have. Or they may have built their thinking around false information that they believed they could trust.
But if that’s true – that I I can’t always trust even the experts - who can I trust? Who should I listen to?
Well Hebrews tells us I can trust Jesus. I should listen to Him! “In these last days (God) has spoken to us by his Son…” Hebrews 1:2
In the Gospels we’re told of the time Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain where “he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM!" When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don’t be afraid." When they looked up, they saw NO-ONE EXCEPT JESUS. Matthew 17:2-8
Jesus is the one we should look to. He’s the one we should listen to because He is the truth of God
John 1:17 says “For the law was given through Moses; grace and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ.”
At one point Jesus said “I AM the way, the TRUTH and the life…” John 14:6
So, if I want TRUTH in my life, I’ve got to start with Jesus. We can’t have REAL TRUTH in our lives… if we don’t have Jesus…. But what truth can Jesus give us that is superior to anything the world can give? Well, I thought about that, and discovered in this text today truths that the world can’t give to us and often doesn’t understand.
And the first truth is this: Jesus shows us WHO God really is. Hebrews 1:3 says “(Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…”
In essence, when you’ve seen Jesus you’ve seen God because Jesus IS God. In fact, that is the core of who we are. You can’t accept the fact that Jesus is God, you can’t be a Christian. That’s what Jesus said when He declared “I am the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE COMES UNTO THE FATHER except through me.”
Now, the rest of the world doesn’t agree with that (that Jesus is the only God). They look at all the other world religions and say: “You can’t be serious. You can’t say possibly say there aren’t any other gods. I mean…. seriously? How arrogant and self-righteous can you be?” They often view us with contempt and mock the very idea of Jesus being the only God.
Back in the 1800s there was a famous poem called “The Blind Men and The Elephant” (by John Godfrey Saxe). For decades Skeptics have used that poem to attack the idea that there’s only one way to view God (I put a graphic on screen that depicted the 6 blind men around the elephant touching the various parts of the elephant as described in the poem). As you can see, one blind man is near the ear, flaps like a fan, and deciding that the Elephant that he’s never seen must be like a fan. Another blind man is at the tusk, feeling it to be long and sharp and obviously like a spear.