BY STEVE DUNN
“What is truth?”
This is the poignant question posed by Pontius Pilate as deliberated the fate of Jesus.
“Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. “But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?”…
People are often puzzled by this exchange. Jesus pointedly says “The truth is that I am indeed a king. I appear in this setting to be the poor abject subject of this so-called legal system And if you really could handle the truth, you would not need to ask.”
Remember another famous posing of the question, “What is the truth?” It comes from the movie, “A Few Good Men.” When challenged by Tom Cruise, the defense attorney to tell the truth, Colonel Jessup responds, “The truth, you can’t handle the truth!”
Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) arrogantly believes that has a duty to hide the truth because the world cannot handle the ugly truth of what he has to do to defend America from its ruthless enemies. But behind that version of the truth is just another self-justification of his arrogant use of power.
Pilate throws Jesus’ truth statement back into his face by his question, a question that is a defensive attempt to escape the responsibility of courageously defending Jesus. He blatantly questions whether there is any absolute truth. The truth is that Jesus is an innocent man,and is do, probably truly the king he professes to be. But such a truth would threaten Pilate’ position itself, so he conveniently dismisses the truth that is standing before him.
When truth is inconvenient, or demanding–when it calls into question the lies and half-truths that we have chosen to live by, we often chose to deny that there is any truth at all. For to admit the truth requires us to change, Or we resort to the favorite co-opt of the postmodern mind, “Well, it’s all right for you, it’s just not right for me.”
Truth, as Christians understand it, is not situational nor subjective. Truth is not a moving target or a Wikipedia definition to be updated by the next so-called expert. Truth is an objective reality and it is rooted in something very concrete–the person of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of John records this set of declarations from Jesus: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8.32 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:36
Truth is a person and that person is Jesus Christ. What he says and what he represents is the truth upon which all the created universe is grounded and upon which depends.
When we finally submit our lives to that Truth we will indeed be free and our world will have that hope that it most desperately needs.
© 2017 by Stephen L. Dunn. Permission is given to repost or quote provided this copyright notice is included and a link provided to this blogsite. The courtesy of an email with a link to its reposting or a copy of the work it is quoted in would be appreciated.