Tag Archives: Truth

“What is Truth?”

How ironic that Pilate would ask this question of Jesus, the embodiment of all truth standing right in front of him. 

The Jewish religious leaders wanted Pilate to execute Jesus for blaspheme and for claiming to be king of the Jews.  In examining Jesus, Pilate asked him if he was the King of the Jews.  Jesus responded, “You are right in saying that I am a king.  In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” To which Pilate responded, “What is truth?” (John 18:37)

This was not the first time that Jesus spoke of testifying to the truth.  Earlier, he told his disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)  At the beginning of his gospel, John describes Jesus as, the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, and then adding, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

From the beginning of human existence, people have been seeking the truth about the reason and purpose for their lives.  It is part of our created nature put there by God to facilitate our search for him.  Our souls are restless, but instead of seeking God, we seek peace in running after greater wealth, or position, or recognition, or pleasure, or knowledge separated from the context of God and his creation.

St. Augustine captured the issue well when he said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests with you.” 

God became one of us in the person of Jesus, to help us better understand the truth from his words and example in order to free us from our sins.  Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching…you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Conventional wisdom in today’s culture often runs counter to the truth and the ways of God.  We see the denigration of life through state funded abortion and legalized euthanasia. We see the elimination of nearly all restraints on sexual mores, and a Supreme Court overturning thousands of years of tradition and natural law in redefining marriage.

We see people confusing tolerance for mercy.  We see increasing relativism on issues of integrity based on personal choice and societal whim instead of God’s revealed truths as set out by Jesus.

Like Jesus, we have opportunities to testify to the truth in our words and actions with the people and circumstances in our daily lives.  The more we regularly read and study God’s Word the better equipped we are to live the truth ourselves and gently represent the truth with others when the opportunity arises. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Your statutes are my heritage forever.”  (Psalm 119: 105, 111)

The Divine Power of Truth

Do we appreciate the power of truth?

St. Paul talks about truth having divine power when he says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

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 another planet, the headlines would declare “Life Exists on Another Planet,” 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” who become one to “be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it,” 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 Paul describes in Romans 1:25?

When Pilate was trying to determine who Jesus was and whether he was a king, Jesus said the reason he was born and came into the world “was to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37) Pilate, like many of our leaders today, not recognizing the embodiment of truth standing before him, asked, “What is truth?”

History testifies to the power and lasting nature of truth. The Roman Empire oppressed and persecuted Christians for almost 300 years. Yet historian Will Durant, not necessarily a friend 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 hold to my teaching…you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” May we never lose confidence in the power and eternal nature of truth against the lies and deceptions of the world.