“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying 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.’ ‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked.” John 18:37-38 (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 was trying to resolve the conflicts and public outcry demanding Jesus to be put to death. For what? Hoping to calm the hysteria and settle the question between what claims were true and what were false, he called Jesus in to 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! Have you ever asked that question? What is truth? How do you know what’s true? How do you measure the truth? What is remarkable here is that Pilate was looking into the face of truth, and he couldn’t even recognize it. Truth is more than a concept or an abstract. Truth is a person. Jesus Christ said,
“I am the truth.” (John 14:6)
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. Truth is a person. When you come to Jesus, you’ll find truth. He is the truth.