“For this I was born, for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37)
These were Jesus’ words to Pontius Pilate as he was questioning Jesus to determine whether he should be crucified. Ironically, Pilate’s response was, “What is truth,” when the embodiment of all truth was standing right in front of him.
Truth, the knowledge of God, his word and work, has divine power. It demolishes lies, deception, and all manner of error. Since truth is from God, it is eternal and never fades or dies, in contrast to lies and deception which may last for a while, but are eventually discovered and proven false.
Truth on the other hand may lie dormant for a time, but is always discovered and demolishes the stronghold of lies. Examples in our world today include such questions as when life begins, and what constitutes marriage. If we discovered biological cells on Mars, the headlines would declare “Life Found on Mars!” Yet, a human egg fertilized with a human sperm is not? Genesis and all of nature declare that marriage is between a “male and female.” (Genesis 1:27) But the wisdom of this world through our highest court says it is not? Is our culture exchanging the “truth of God for a lie,” as St. Paul mentions in Romans 1:25?
History testifies to the power and lasting nature of truth. The Roman Empire oppressed and persecuted Christians for more than 300 years. Yet, historian Will Durant, not necessarily an advocate of the Christian faith, eloquently observes:
“There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of a few Christians, scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting the sword with the word, brutality with hope, and at last defeating the strongest state that history has known. Caesar and Christ had met in the arena, and Christ had won.” (Caesar and Christ, p. 652)
In recent memory we have seen regimes such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union seek to oppress and outlaw the truth of God, but instead the power and eternal nature of truth brought each of them crashing down.
Jesus said, “If you remain in my word…you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Do we appreciate the power of truth?