“Pilate said, “So you are a king?”Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime.” – John 18:37-38.
This encounter between Jesus and Pilate is one of the most real and tense encounters in all of Scripture. Jesus is standing before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Jesus is standing before the person who will decide His fate.
Pilate asks “What is truth?”
Ironically, Pilate had found the truth. Truth was standing before him. All you had to do was trust the truth that is right in front of you. The promise of the ages is right in front of him. Every one of us has a God-shaped void inside us. Not one of us will be satisfied apart from God and that includes Pontius Pilate.
But at the last moment, Pilate stepped back from truth. Pilate let truth slip from his grip. The offer was right there. “Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” ( John 18:37)
Truth stood a few feet away offering hope, love, joy, peace and love, and possibility. Truth was no abstract idea. Truth was God incarnate. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus can testify to the truth and teach the truth because He himself is that truth. In Him, there is nothing false, nothing misleading, and nothing fake or uncertain. While we are capable of knowing truth, we cannot claim to actually be truth. There is too much we don’t know and too many things we get wrong. When we seek to figure out what is the truth and what is a lie, we can measure it against the words of Jesus, who Himself is the truth.
When we ask about truth, maybe we are not looking for information. Maybe we are not looking for facts and figures. We really want to know what will make sense of our lives. We really want to know who we can trust. Truth always has a human face; a personal face.
If you don’t know what truth is, you can wander for a very long time. You can keep on searching for truth. You can stay on the tentative side. You can continue to shop around. But I say you will never get the full experience of truth and life until you just plunge in. The only way to know truth is to trust the truth you have, right in front of you: Jesus Christ.
- What is truth?
- Is truth something that is different for different people or is it the same for everyone?
- How do you decide what is true in your life?