“You can’t handle the TRUTH!”

"You can't handle the TRUTH!"

These unforgettable words come from the movie, ‘A Few Good Men’ where Colonel Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson, is answering a subordinate, actor Tom Cruise, during an investigation following a Code Red threat. The young lawyer had put to him, “I want the truth.” The original script then read, “You already have the truth.”  But caught up in the moment, Nicholson abruptly changed tack and thundered out the line that has become memorable.  The inability to handle the truth applies to us probably far more than we would care to admit.  When someone takes the opportunity to tell us a few “home truths” even in a kindly manner, how do we react?  Do we become defensive, threatening, maybe retaliate, or deeply offended, skulk off with our tail between our legs?

‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was a movie produced by former US Vice-president Al Gore in 2006, where he portrayed the likely future of Planet Earth. It was meant to cause alarm, and it did.  But depending on who you listen to, the “evidence” differs widely, and attracts much controversy.  What is the truth on climate change, inconvenient or otherwise!!  At this point I will suspend the subject, or it might be necessary to leave town, quickly!

“What is Truth?” came from the lips of Pontius Pilate caught up in a maelstrom of “truths” during the trial of Jesus. “This man is subverting the nation.”  “He claims to be a king.”  “He opposes taxes to the Emperor.”  “Have nothing to do with this just man.”  “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar’s.”  “You are right in saying I am a king. For this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”  Conflicted beyond belief, rather than making the right decision, Pilate chose the popular one. Within the realm of a much Higher Power it was of course ordained to be the right decision, ‘as the wrath of God was satisfied.’

The real truth is often impossible to discern. Whatever the issue, there is a myriad of views and opinions. For loving reassurance of the everlasting kind, read John 14. Jesus’ disciples were dreading a future without their Friend, Teacher and Guide. Thomas expressed the insecurity of them all (v.6) and Jesus simply answered, “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.” The bedrock of our faith, and that is the truth.


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