“‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked.” John 18:38a (NIV)
“It must be true! I read it on the internet!” I hope you’re laughing at such a statement. Surprisingly, much of the fake news posted on the internet is believed today. What’s not believed, somehow still seems to shape our attitudes and thinking, leading to confusion and conflict. That’s the power of the written or spoken word. It doesn’t have to be true to be believed as long as it is shared with passion.
Although he didn’t have the internet, Pilate had certainly heard conflicting reports about Jesus. The fake news on Jesus had reached the Governor and led to his false arrest, skewing public opinion from less than a week before. On Palm Sunday, the crowds were shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!” Now, they were crying “Crucify Him!” as Jesus was led before Pilate to be tried.
I’m not certain how much Governor Pilate knew about Jesus, but from the text it appears certain that he is trying to resolve the conflicts and public outcry, demanding this Jesus be put to death. For what? Hoping to calm the hysteria and settle the question between what claims were true and which were false, he calls Jesus into his chambers for questioning.
Jesus told Pilate of His origin and explained that His mission was, to bear witness to the truth. To which Pilate quickly responds, “What is truth?”
That’s a great question! It’s the most relevant question of all. Have you ever asked that question? What is truth? How do we know what is true? How do you measure the truth? What is remarkable here is that Pilate was looking into the face of truth and couldn’t even recognize it. Truth is more than a concept or abstract. Truth is a person. Jesus Christ said, “I am the truth.” (John 14:6) and His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom of truth. While Rome’s weapon was the sword, Jesus’ weapon was the truth of God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit. Unlike Rome, Christ would not rule by force or threats but with conviction and love.
Have you answered that question in your life, or, are you still in a panic search for truth mode like Pilate? Truth is not a religion, or system of belief. Truth is a person. When you come to Jesus, you’ll find truth. He is the truth.