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)