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What is Truth?

John 18:37-38a

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?”

Over the past few decades, Western culture has effectively abandoned objective reality. The systematic process of deleting God-given principles from society can be linked to the rejection of Scripture. With the Western church no longer being an effective arbiter of truth, postmodern thought has expedited our descent into darkness.

Our current situation is not original or novel, however. As indicated by King Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)”. Historically, societies that achieve some level of opulence become cynical and decline morally. Focus turns inward and away from God. Furthermore, we must remember that propagation of deceit has always been the world’s goal (2 Corinthians 3:3-4). Satan, the ruler of this world, is a liar (John 8:44). Christ-followers should never be surprised by society’s denial of God’s realities. We should also understand the world’s rejection of Christ.

In the Gospel of John, an example of spiritual blindness can be found within Pontius Pilate’s conversation with Jesus. Messiah stated to Pilate that He came into the world to testify to the truth (John 18:37-38). The Roman governor’s response was a quick and cynical rhetorical question, “What is truth?”

Pilate’s attitude is striking for a couple of reasons. First, we could copy and paste his outlook into 2021, and it would fit in perfectly with postmodern philosophy. The governor was essentially stating that truth does not exist. His derisive stance was no doubt a product of the empire that he served and the polytheistic religion that molded him. Secondly, God in the flesh stood before Pilate, and he was unable to recognize Him. The Roman was blind to the truth, just like so many who had encountered Jesus...just like many who had witnessed Messiah’s miracles.

Inability to grasp the truth correlates with the fact that only God can open the eyes of unbelievers (John 6:44). It is not within man’s heart to see or comprehend the Light (John 3:19). We must be born again in order for the scales to fall from our eyes (John 3:3). As Jesus stated to Pilate, everyone who is of the truth hears His voice.

Pilate’s life philosophy led to certain death as exemplified by his nation. The Roman Empire fell about four hundred-fifty years after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Empires come and go. No human kingdom will last because of man’s sinful position and his rejection of truth. Given this reality, what is the Christ follower to do? We should continue to testify to the truth and pray for this unbelieving world.


John 1:5

And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.

John 3:3

Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:19

And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil.

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 8:44

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 10:27

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 1:20-25

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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