So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” John 18:33-38
Two thousand years later and we are still questioning what is truth? But even more so today people just cannot accept that there are absolute truths. They want to believe that all truth claims are relevant and no one person or group has absolute truth on their side. This is especially true when it comes to religious beliefs. People want to believe that all religions are basically true and there are many ways to God. But even a cursory look at what various religions claim shows us that they cannot all be true. The major world religions differ on the nature of God as well as what it takes to get into heaven. If one is right then the others must be wrong.
Truth is truth and it is always absolutely true at all times and for all people. Truth is not decided by majority vote something is either true or false. For instance, before Copernicus the earth revolved around the sun. Just because most people believed otherwise did not change the truth. Truth such as the earth revolving around the sun may be unknown for a time but known or unknown it is still absolutely true. In fact all truth is absolute. Sometimes it takes a while for the truth to be found but that does not change the truth. When someone makes the claim that there are no absolute truths one needs to ask if that statement is absolutely true or only relatively true.
When Pilate asked Jesus “what is truth?” he was speaking from a relativistic viewpoint. Taking a relativistic viewpoint lets you off the hook for making value judgments. If everything is equally true then I never have to question my actions. I can do what I want when I want. No one has the right to say I am wrong. The problem with this worldview is it is one way. I may justify taking something that does not belong to me but when you take something that belongs to me then we have a problem. Suddenly it becomes wrong to steal and I want justice.
We see this relativistic viewpoint today in the Middle East. Hamas fires rockets into Israel targeting towns and people cheer. Israel fires back and suddenly it is unacceptable if civilians are killed. Two peoples doing the same thing and one is acceptable while the other is condemned. We turn truth on its head in order to make a political statement.
Jesus told Pilate that He came into the world to bear witness to the truth about God. One eternal truth, never changing. Pilate was unable or unwilling to accept the truth that was before him. In doing so he sent Jesus to His death. What is truth, the truth is Jesus. It always was and always will be.
Have a blessed day,