A testing truth is a biblical teaching that, once understood, challenges the individual to make significant changes in his or her personal beliefs or lifestyle. Some testing truths, such as seventh-day Sabbath observance and the avoidance of unclean foods, impact both belief and lifestyle. This underscores once again the necessity of leading people to accept Christ before urging them to do things for Him.
John 6:54–66 shows that some people turned away from Jesus when they faced a testing truth. Why did some who had followed Jesus eventually turn away? What lesson is here for us personally? What “testing truths” still, perhaps, challenge your commitment to Jesus?
Many who had witnessed, and benefitted from, the feast on the mountainside the previous day followed Jesus in order to be fed again. As Jesus attempted to turn their minds to spiritual things by using the illustration of His body and blood, many turned away. It wasn’t that they could not grasp the truth of salvation through Christ alone; it was that they refused to accept it. It was a testing time, and when their personal wants were not met, they chose to walk away.
Read John 14:15. In what ways do these words present a “testing truth”?
Here is a challenge for those who claim to love Jesus to consider seriously their commitment to Him. Sooner or later the time will come when a professed belief will be tested by the call to action. The reality is that sometimes, at any stage in the evangelism process, people turn aside when faced with testing truths. Experience has shown, however, that people respond more easily and positively to a testing truth when a love relationship with the Savior has already been cultivated. In other words, it is still true that the right sequence brings the best results.
Jesus had many things that He wanted to tell the disciples, but He knew that they would not understand them yet (see John 16:12). His promise that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13) is a promise that extends to our time, to us, and to those we seek to lead to Christ.
However free the gift of grace is, the commitment that results from accepting that gift can, at times, be very costly. How can you help someone struggling with this cost, whatever the specifics? What have you learned about the cost of commitment that you could share with someone facing the same challenge?