33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 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.” 37 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.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. (ESV)
In this context, Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Palestine. He was an astute politician and didn’t want to be involved in the religious dispute that the Jewish leaders had with this Man named Jesus. However, Jesus will not be ignored. Pilate asked Jesus, “Are You King of the Jews?” He wanted to make sure Jesus was not a political threat. Jesus, knowing He was being set up and that any answer He gave could be a trap, answered His question with a question. Jesus proclaimed that He indeed was a King, but His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, not physical. Jesus came to reveal God’s truth. Then Pilate asks Jesus this question: “What is truth?” It may have been genuine, but it was probably sarcastic and cynical. However, the question is as relevant now as it was then.
Notice 10 Truths about Truth:
I. Truth Is Absolute, Not Relative
“Absolute” means changeless, timeless, regardless of culture, popularity, opinion or feelings. It means consistent, always, under all circumstances. Truth is unalterable reality. Absolute truth reflects the nature of God. God is truth, and God’s Word is truth (John 14:6; 17:3, 17). “Relativism” means each person decides what is true. Each person becomes his or her own authority on what is acceptable or not acceptable, what is right or wrong what is truth and what is a lie. The issue is God’s authority. If God is Who He said He is, then God and God alone must be our ultimate authority for what we believe and how we behave. Political correctness often chooses tolerance over truth.
II. Truth Is Timeless, in Fact, Time Is Always on the Side of Truth
Truth works in any generation, any time in history, and any hour of the day or night. Truth is non-partisan, non-racial, non-gender related. Truth transcends all opinions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, or what is written or reported. Time is always on the side of the person who tells the truth and stands for the truth; although, initially you may not be vindicated. (Psalm 37:6). Ultimately truth always wins. Truth may be suppressed for a time, but it always rises from its apparent grave (Tan).
III. Truth by Its Very Nature Is Narrow
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (ESV)
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death. (ESV)
Truth is exclusive. It is not based on feelings or opinions. The four major religions of the world –Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism—each have diametrically opposed views of God. If all religions are basically the same and they are all totally different, then someone has to be wrong. Not all of them can be right.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.
We are not talking about a narrow-minded bigotry, but about a faith that is based on the nature of God and His Word.
IV. Truth Is a Person
Jesus is Truth. If you believe Jesus is Who He said He was, then you will embrace what He says as truth. Jesus made exclusive claims (John 14:6; John 1:17; Ephesians 4:21). If Jesus is truth, then everything He said is truth; and we are accountable for that truth and responsible to live in that truth.
V. Truth Is God’s Word
17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
Psalm 119:151, 160
151 You are near, O Lord,
And all Your commandments are truth.
160 The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
Scripture is God’s revealed truth that is authoritative for our beliefs and behaviors. The Bible sits in judgment of people’s experiences, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, choices, and thoughts.
89 Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven.
VI. Truth Is Freeing
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Truth initially can be uncomfortable and upsetting; in fact, it can be brutal when we are confronted with it. However, knowing and acting on the truth brings God’s freedom. Truth breaks the chain of bondage. You must accept the truth and stop believing Satan’s lies.
VII. Truth Has Enemies
The chief enemy of the truth is the Father of Lies, Satan.
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 speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Satan uses lying, denial, flattery, pride, exaggerating, silence (when truth is being attacked or distorted), and hypocrisy. Accepting the truth stops the Father of Lies in your life.
VIII. The Way You Present Truth Determines Your Witness
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
With Jesus, He was not only full of truth, He was also full of grace. Truth is essential; however, if you are to be effective in sharing the truth, you must package it with grace. If not, it will be a turn-off. When the truth is presented with grace, it is given an opportunity to change someone’s life.
IX. Truth Should Be Defended
As believers, we simply must not idly sit by when the truth is attacked or mischaracterized.
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
We must stand for what is true, and stand with those who are standing in truth. Christians must stand against that which is untrue and for that which is true.
X. Truth Has to be Practiced by Us to Be Believed by Others
The Christian faith is intended to be a practiced faith. If we don’t live out our faith, people will move Christianity from the non-fiction section to the fiction section. The world is often turned off, not because of Jesus, but because those who claim to know Jesus are not living and acting like Jesus. If your belief is not right, your morals will follow. If you believe a lie, you will live a lie.