“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.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’ After he said this, he went back outside.” John 18:37-38
In Pilate’s consternation over what to do with Jesus, in whom he found no guilt, he flirts with wanting to understand who Jesus is, but never allows himself to get close enough. A head on a stiff neck can ask a lot of questions without listening to answers. He reminds me here of Judas, who, having walked with Jesus for three years, never opened himself to the truth Jesus taught or exhibited. On Jesus’s final night before His crucifixion, when He washed the disciples feet, humbly illustrating the truth of His purpose, Judas took bread from him, then “immediately went out. And it was night.” He went straightway to arrange with the religious leaders for his Rabbi’s betrayal. It is more natural for a hard heart to avoid truth than to yield to its softening. (Mark 14:43-46; John 13:5-30; 18:1-3)
There was a time when unconditional truth was our banner and reigned supreme- we cherished it, guarded it, wrote about it, defended it, taught it, were guided by it. Infallible truth still stands, yet it has been pushed to the wayside and muddied by opinion and emotion and everyone’s right to assert and choose their own ‘truth,’ what feels good and is convenient for the time being, what may change in a whim if they so choose. This kind of ‘truth’ exalts self over holy God, and should bring real trembling before Him.
Where do I go for truth? Have I decided, because of religious persuasion, political affiliation, or prejudicial thinking, that I can determine my best source of truth, whether from specific media, an author, or particular teachers? Does my belief change when my feelings or circumstances do? Am I more prone to quote people than God’s word? Where do I elevate a person’s opinion as expert on any particular subject, without praying for spiritual insight and weighing what I am told or taught with Scripture? What time do I dedicate to reading the Bible and listening with my heart and mind to its unchanging truth?
“In the beginning was the Word,.. and the Word was God... In him was life, and the life was the light of men… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.'” John 1:1,4,14,17; 14:6
Lord, Your law is perfect and sure and right and pure, reviving the soul, making wise the simple, enlightening the eyes. The sum of your word is truth. May I press on to know Jesus better every day, and boldly live by His truth. (Psalm 19:7-8; 119:160; John 17:17)