Wednesday, September 10, 2014


What is truth? The Question that Still Haunts Pilate

What is truth? It is a great question. It also happens to be the question Pilate asks of Jesus in John 19:38. It is a question that still gets asked today. There are all sorts of people around us that don’t know what “truth” is, and they don’t know what “truth” involves. Some don’t believe in universal truths and others believe we can each create our own “truth.” Instead of seeking truth, many chase after idols, their desires, and every new fad or trend that comes passing by them.

But the question still begs a good answer. What is truth? Could the historic portions of the events between Jesus and Pilate in the Bible help to provide a contest?

When Jesus was asked that question by Pilate, he didn’t answer. Could it have been because he knew Pilate’s heart was hardened? (Think of the Pharaoh and Moses). Pilate is a reminder that the truth cannot simply be told to an adult and they be expected to believe it. It was evident that Jesus was already not believed among those He had already been around in His ministry. It is possible to be blind to the truth.

Another thing I think of when I hear the question is about “having trust” in another individual. Discovering the truth is easier when there is trust. This begs the question: do you trust Jesus? He already loved you even before you understood love. If you know Jesus you know, you can trust Jesus. Ultimately, love and trust work together and each one makes the other easier.

So I go back to the original question asked of Pilate: “what is truth?” Could Pilate trust Jesus? Did Pilate have a child-like faith? Could Pilate simply be told what the truth was of God and be expected to believe it? If Jesus told Pilate to set Him free because He was the Son of God, would Pilate have done it? Honestly, I think the answer to all of those questions is “no.”

Pilate, I am sure, was an intelligent man. He was a man of position because of his leadership and because of his devotion to the Roman Empire. He knew his job, and he was involved with the people around him. He lived in a world where trust was of no use to him or those he served. The Jewish culture around him was allowed, under Roman rule, because it was necessary to continue running a society that the Romans had conquered. The Roman Empire needed the influence of the Jewish leaders to make it more practical to govern. All of these things contributed to Pilate and his meeting with Jesus that day: influence, politics and corruption.

I think the Bible makes it clear that Pilate did not believe that day. He had been hardened by the life he had lived. I do want to believe that Pilate was curious of Jesus. The Jews had come to him to have someone executed for reasons he did not understand or believe. He knew his laws did not apply (this was a religious matter) but he also saw the political realities. However, Pilate could not believe. He could not believe because he was unwilling to take that first step of faith. The fact that God already knew what action Pilate would take is of no consequence. (Sounds like the Pharoh and Moses again) Pilate's act of allowing Jesus to be crucified because of his unbelief allowed God's people to be saved from the bondage of sin. The miracle was our salvation.

What evidence did Pilate have that Jesus was who He said He was? What evidence could Jesus give? Was Pilate willing to research this and find out? Pilate could not and would not believe because he was unwilling to seek the truth. If you are unwilling to believe, then you will never know the truth. What is truth? Believe in Jesus as who He said He was. Seek Him out and have Faith enough to trust Him and the truth will be revealed to you. Seek the truth, and you will find it. (John 8:31-32)

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