“What is truth?”
By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
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!