Truly I Say

by Herman Crawford

I have mentioned in previous devotions, that I am intrigued by phrases used repeatedly in Scripture. I did a Lenten
devotional once on “walk worthy” or “walk in a manner worthy.” This is used only four times in the NASB20 translation but, for me, it is a convicting phrase.

Another phrase that is used often and therefore deserves some attention is one used by Jesus often in the New Testament — “Truly, I say.” This phrase is repeated about 75 times in the New Testament NASB20 translation. So, what exactly does this phrase mean? It is a term of strong, intense affirmation. It means firm. It means trustworthy. The Greek for “truly” is “amen” and is the word we use to end our prayers (in the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen). It means that everything we have just spoken to God in our prayer is trustworthy, It is true. You can take it to the bank. The only one who uses this
expression in the New Testament is Jesus. And again, He uses it some 75 times. In the book of John, Jesus really
emphasizes this phrase: “Truly, truly I say” and he uses it about 25 times. He is literally saying – “Amen and amen.” Every use of “amen” or “truly” by Jesus serves to affirm what He is about to say and, consequently, we need to pay close
attention to the instruction and/or teaching that follows.

What are some of the “Truly, I say” verses that stand out to me? Try these:

Matthew 10:42 — And whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
What little ones? What reward?

Matthew 13:17 — For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Longed to see and hear what?

Matthew 26:21 — And as they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.”
If Jesus knew about the betrayal, why didn’t He do something to stop it?

Mark 14:30 — And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.”
Have you ever denied Christ? Would you deny Jesus?

John 3:3 — Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Will you see the kingdom of God?

John 5:24 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
You have heard; now, do you believe?

Look at these verses as well as others listed within the New Testament; see what Jesus feels so strongly about. Answer the questions with each of the verses above – understand what Jesus is saying.

And I will leave you this one to think about from Matthew 25:12 – “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” As we enter the Lenten season, think about these words from Jesus. I pray that these are not words reserved for you and yours.

Prayer: Father, thank you for Your Word. Help us to understand the importance of reading and understanding what You have for us. Help us to understand that we cannot love You without knowing You and we cannot really know You without Your Word. Bless us during this Easter season. Amen.

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