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 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, (the apostle Thomas) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)
Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” may or may not have been asked in a sarcastic or snarky tone. Pilate was a product of a largely permissive culture that embraced multiple gods and belief systems- similar to our culture today. Our culture also has a real problem with absolutes.
How many times have we heard in the media or from others, “You have your truth, I have mine.” The implication in that statement is that truth is subjective, but for truth to be true, it must remain absolute.
Either Jesus is the King of the Jews, the inheritor of the throne of David, the Son of God, Emmanuel, God in human flesh, the Savior of the world, or He is not who He says He is.
There is no middle ground with Jesus, no gray area. As Jesus tells Thomas- who is sometimes reviled as being “Doubting Thomas-” No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Thomas was actually wise to ask Jesus questions and to demand proofs of Him. Faith must have a valid object. We have faith that the highway bridge over the river is going to hold up because it is built with steel and concrete and it was engineered by people who understand what it takes to build a bridge that will stand up to weather and time and tons of vehicles driving over it. Faith would be sorely misplaced if one were to have faith that it’s possible to float a car across a river on a pool float.
God has given us the inspired Word of Scripture so that we can be like Thomas and find the proofs of Jesus’ truth. There is nothing wrong with having an informed faith.
So what is truth? The truth is found in Jesus, and in the faith in Him passed down to us in the Scriptures. The Apostle’s Creed is a synopsis of the Christian faith which is derived from the Scriptures:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.