Is truth our reality? Is reality our truth?
Before we get into this, I have a confession to make… I just watched Spider-Man: Far From Home. There. I said it. I know it came out five hundred years ago, but for some reason I finally just got around to seeing it.
Don’t judge me.
Anyways, Spider-Man: Far From Home spurred some remarkably interesting questions and gave me a lot of food for thought. Marvel has a way of doing that to you.
How is it that something can be so real; you feel it, you see it, you know it and, everything in you is telling you this is what to believe… and yet it’s a lie?
That is what we see in this movie.
Beck, the antagonist, seemed like a great guy at first. He created a false image of himself, painted himself out to be a hero named Mysterio saving the day, when really he was the one causing all this destruction. He took advantage of Peter’s weakness: his innocence. Peter was a good person and he used that for his selfish purposes.
Appearances can be deceiving; things (and people) are not always what they seem.
Beck made a statement in the movie that made me think. He said, ‘These days, people will believe anything.’
People will believe anything. All you need to do is throw enough glitter on it, paint up a cute story to cover it and people will buy it off the racks.
Just like their mother Eve.
Sometimes, the truth is not seen, but it’s still the truth.
You know the story (and if you don’t, you can read it here Genesis 3:1-7); God commanded the first two humans He had created to eat freely of the fruits of every tree except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told them not to eat that because the day they did they would surely die.
Then comes along a talking serpent. I guess Eve didn’t know you should never trust a talking animal. Anyway, this serpent goes ahead and completely twists what God had just told them and made it out to look like God didn’t want them to eat the fruit because He was cheating them out of something good; becoming wise. But God was just trying to protect them.
The talking serpent flat out lied to Eve and what really sold his story was the appearance of the fruit.
“The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it.” – Genesis 3:6 (The Bible).
And it all went down hill from there. From a fruit that looked good to eat and held the promise of wisdom came every form of death we have in this world today.
She was deceived. And how great the deception.
What do you believe? Remember, what you see can be deceiving. Sometimes, the truth is not seen, but it’s still the truth.
This reminds me of another story that shows how reality can be deceiving…
The disciples of Jesus were in a boat that was being tossed about by the waves because the wind was blowing against it (you can read the story here Matthew 14:22-33). Then comes Jesus (Master of all four elements… no, I’m just kidding. Comment if you caught the Avatar reference!) walking on the sea to meet them. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they got really afraid thinking it was a ghost. One thing led to another and Peter, one who was prone to spurts of boldness and courage, asked to walk on the water, too, to meet Jesus. Jesus says, “Come.”
As Peter steps out of that boat and begins to walk on the water, he sees the strong wind and the rising waves and, in fear, he begins to sink. He cries out to Jesus for help who immediately grabs him.
What really strikes me here is Jesus’s response to this: “How little faith you have! Why did you doubt?”
I imagine Peter, shivering from both the cold and fear, looking at Jesus speechless. ‘Well, of course I doubted!’ he would have screamed in his mind. ‘Jesus, couldn’t you see how strong the wind was? What about the waves that were as tall as houses! How is it that you ask me why was I afraid?
You see, Jesus knew the truth. Because He is the truth.
Peter believed what he saw and what he felt to be truth. He believed that the reality that surrounded him was the only reality that existed, he believed that current reality was the truth. But Jesus knew that it was a lie. The wind, the waves, the tossing boat, all of it was a lie.
They saw turbulence when they were really surrounded by peace.
Jesus is peace. In fact, He is the Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6, The Bible). What Jesus was really asking Peter is this, ‘Why did you doubt? Don’t you know that as long as I’m with you no harm can come to you? How is it that you let what you saw and what you felt deceive you?’
Just like the holograms projected by Beck’s drones seemed so real and terrifying and true to Peter the Spider-Man, so did the strong wind and rising waves seem real to Peter the Disciple of Jesus. But they were both nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Deceit. It means ‘dishonest behaviour that is intended to make somebody believe something that is not true’ according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.
It’s distorted reality.
You see, Jesus knew the truth. Because He is the truth.
From the movie Far From Home and from the history recorded in the Bible we can see that it is possible for the truth not to be seen and yet remain truth. Despite the storm raging all around you, you must believe the truth. You must not believe what the dishonest reality wants you to believe; a lie.
You cannot see words. They are formed with the tongue and spoken. They seem to be nothing but some breath. But words are powerful.
Books are full of words. For example, the Bible. The words in this book are truth. You can believe the words in this book, not because they will make you feel good or suit your tastes, but simply because they are truth, nothing but the truth and the whole truth. The words here are God’s Word and God’s Word is truth. All that we see was made with His words. (John 1:1-3, Hebrews 11:3 The Bible)
In a world where everything keeps changing, nothing is certain and there are so many things that conceal or misrepresent truth, may I direct you to where you can find stability?
The Bible. In it you will find truth.
Remember, truth never changes. Truth is like a rock. It is solid and stays the same on down through the ages, come what may.
And in the end, when all the lies, and the facades and deceptions fall away, all that will remain will be the Truth.
Hello. Thank you for reading this blog post! If you have any questions or anything constructive to share, please feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. -Oluwatomi