Week 37: What is Truth?

“What is truth?”

 By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 37

Scripture Readings: John 16-18

Key Scripture Verses: John 16:37-38

“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate.

Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me.’

‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him.’” (NIV, Life Application Bible)

Per my Bible’s commentary (NIV, Life Application Bible), Pilate believed that there was no defined truth, but that truth was relative, especially when it came to government work and justice—the truth was what the majority wanted or believed and whatever advanced the political powers of those who wanted to advance their positions.

So, when Pilate asked Jesus,“What is truth?,” he was not really asking for information. He was making a quick decision and Jesus didn’t convict himself with his answer, so Pilate decided to the let the masses decide whether to release Jesus or to choose another prisoner to release.

Earlier in his ministry, Jesus told his disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) So, not only did he know the truth and testified to the truth, he was the truth. And John’s message starts off with saying that even in the very beginning of time the word existed and that the word became flesh in Jesus (John 1:1, John 1:14).

I find it interesting in our society today that people consider truth to be relative, not absolute. I always thought that truth was either black or white—something is either true or it isn’t. But, people all over the world “bend the truth,” “stretch the truth,” “twist the truth,”—that means they don’t tell the whole truth; therefore, it means they lie.

And we believe untruths, half-truths, lies. If we fool ourselves into twisting the scriptures to be “relative” to our desires, we aren’t living by the truth, we are changing the truth to suit our purposes, just like Pilate and his cronies did with the law.

I know when I do that most of the time. And if I ask God to reveal his truth to me when I read His word, I learn the truth. I learn how to live according to his will. It’s not relative to my desires but truth by his standards.

I thought I was born into this world without an “owner’s manual.” Well, not really—the Bible is my manual for living. Jesus is the word made flesh, his life reflects the words in scripture, and he came to earth to teach us that truth directly.

Jesus—“the way, the truth, and the life.”

Want to know the truth? You already know where to find it!

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: