What is Truth?
What is truth? Some think it’s a created concept that allows others to dictate what we can or cannot do or believe. Others see it as a personal choice that frames our lives and sets or removes boundaries that we alone need to follow. What we may not realize is that this is not a twenty-first century question. Our society hasn’t reached the point of enlightenment which enables us to challenge everything and make our own rules and guidelines. In fact this exact inquiry was raised in John 18:38.
The words were spoken by Pontius Pilate when Jesus was brought before him after being arrested. If you’re familiar with the gospels, you know Jesus is the Son of God, and God Himself, Who took on flesh and walked this earth. During his three year ministry, He did countless miracles and spoke of His Heavenly Father Who sent Him. He also taught life changing principles which still impact our world today.
Christ’s popularity in the first century made Him a target of the religious leaders. Out of jealousy, and fear of losing their power and status, they decided to have Him killed. Little did they know, that was God’s plan for Him – and for us – for without His sacrificial death on the cross, we would all be condemned to an eternity in torment. Since they didn’t have the authority to execute Jesus, they brought him to Pilate. Here is the conversation between him and our Lord, according to John 18:33-38…
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" 35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?" 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." 37 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." 38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" (ESV)
Verse 38 is a convenient response to what Christ said. Instead of questioning Jesus about His kingdom and how he could be of the truth, Pilate basically dismissed what He said by challenging the existence of absolute truth. A technique used by many today.
Just because we don’t believe something to be true doesn’t change the fact that it is. A great example of this was the certainty of pretty much everyone that the earth was flat. It wasn’t, isn’t, and never will be no matter what people think or how strongly they hold to it. But truth isn’t just facts or principles, actuality or reality. Truth is a Person. Jesus said this in John 14:6: …"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV underline mine).
Let’s not be like Pilate, who chose self-preservation and ease over life changing acceptance (John 19:12). Let’s seek, follow, and listen to Jesus and be of the truth (John 18:37) so we can walk in His ways and be the lights He has called us to be in this dark and desperate world.
Just something that’s been on my mind and heart along the way.