Our frustrating experience last week in doctors’ offices and the hospital concerning Marti’s yet-to-be-diagnosed symptoms was not unlike what we are all facing today in our own fact-finding processes in the complex culture in which we find ourselves. The big question today is the same question Pilate put before Jesus when he questioned Him as to His alleged crimes for which the Jewish leaders wanted Him crucified. Pilate was flummoxed. Jesus did not respond in the same manner in which common criminals responded to interrogation. With some questions, Jesus remained silent. With others He responded in words Pilate had never heard before like, “My kingdom is not of this world.” And, “the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37). To which Pilate exclaimed in frustration, “What is truth?” It was not a question to which Pilate was really seeking an answer. It was a cynical question by which he was insisting there was no answer because, he left the room without waiting for one.
What Pilate didn’t know is that Jesus had already answered that question. It was a question to which Jesus had proclaimed Himself as the answer: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). It was an answer not to be memorized or written in a book or filed away or passed on a test, but an answer to be experienced. Jesus Himself is truth. Not even His words, though that is part of it, because His words are true, but Jesus the person is truth. To know Jesus, is to know truth.
Truth is as elusive today as it was then — maybe even more so. From the news, which is biased right and left, to the internet where anything anybody wants to say will be truth to some people. Without a common source, truth is impossible to verify. You have to pick and choose and make an educated guess, and even then, you can never be sure.
That is why it is so important today to cling to Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Everything Jesus did and said is utterly reliable, but the personal knowledge of Him in our hearts is the truth on which we base our hope.
Pilate proclaimed facetiously, “What is truth?” as if no one could know it, and left Truth standing in the room waiting to be crucified. The man, Jesus, was about to be slaughtered for the sins of the whole world, Pilate’s included, but he didn’t recognize it. I hope, for his sake, that he finally did at some point realize that the answer to his question had been right in front of him.
Hold onto Jesus. In a world full of lies, He is the truth.