What is Truth?
- Thursday, July 15, 2010
Pilate had a problem. The Jewish leaders kept bringing Jesus Christ before him and demanding his crucifixion. He could not find any justification for it, but he needed to keep the peace between the Jewish people and the Roman government. Pilate's brief interrogation of Jesus brought little clarity to the problem because Pilate was viewing things from a human perspective while Jesus was operating on a spiritual level.
Pilate asked Him about the accusation that He claimed to be a king.
"You are right in saying I am a king," Jesus replied. "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."
Frustrated, Pilate responded with a common philosophical question of the day, "What is truth?"
Some things never change. For over 2000 years, mankind has asked, "What is the truth?" And, like Pilate, so many people have missed it (even though it was right in front of them) because they were asking the wrong question. The question is not what is truth, but rather who is truth.
Jesus made it very simple for us. He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life." But instead of asking, "Who is truth?" we continue to echo Pilate's words, "What is truth?" As long as we ask that question, we will continue to leave as empty-handed as Pilate.
A non-Christian friend of mine once remarked, "All you Bible-thumpers act like you are the only ones that know the truth." I responded, "We do. It's Jesus." Like Pilate, this made no sense to him because he viewed the truth as a what, not a who. The simple, yet profound, shift in our thought process changes everything.
I should differentiate between "what is true" and "truth." While it's true that grass is green and hot air rises, we wouldn't say that grass and hot air are "Jesus." That's clearly not the meaning of Jesus' claim. Our English word for truth comes from the Old English trēowth which means "fidelity." It is akin to the Old English trēowe, meaning "faithful." One modern definition is "conformity to reality or actuality."
Jesus is the source of all truth. He is dependably correct in all matters. He is the reality to which we must conform. Since Jesus is the truth, he is the most reliable source for the truth. He routinely began his teachings in the New Testament with the phrase, "I tell you the truth." ("Verily, verily" in King James parlance.)
In that light, it's interesting to look at other scriptures related to truth and substitute Jesus' name:
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in
your truthJesus and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (Psalm 25:4-5)
"I have chosen the way of
truthJesus; I have set my heart on your laws." (Psalm 119:30)
"They perish because they refused to love
the truthJesus and so be saved." (2 Thessalonians 2:10b)
"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of
the truthJesus." (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
It's also interesting to look at famous quotes from philosophers and others throughout history, to gauge whether or not their perception of the truth has any merit:
The truthJesus is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." —Winston Churchill
"Whenever you have
truthJesus, it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected." —Mahatma Gandhi
"The love of
truthJesus has its reward in heaven and even on earth." —Friedrich Nietzsche
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to
truthJesus: not going all the way, and not starting." —Buddha
Recently on Spiritual Life
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content