What is Truth?
When Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, they exchanged this conversation:
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate."
(John 18:37-38 NIV)
What is truth?
We live in a time in history when many have decided there is no absolute truth. To these folks, all truth is relative to culture and experience. What is true for you might not be true for me. Truth has been boiled down to what works for us in our experience.
Essentially, many believe our experience trumps any truth that might come from God and from His Word, the Bible. But Jesus had some definite things to say about truth. He told Pilate, "Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." What Jesus teaches is true because of who He is. The moment we know Jesus to be God-in-the-flesh, the incarnate Son of God, then His teaching is unlike any other teaching ever.
God has given us minds to use to discover truth that is self-apparent. We have used our minds to understand the things that are true in nature through repeated experimentation--through science and math. Two plus two equals four, no matter how badly we wish it could equal six in terms of pieces of warm cherry pie! Laws of physics such as gravity work every time they are tried, and sometimes result in broken bones if we jump from some height, hoping we can defy gravity and fly like Superman.
But in terms of what is moral and in terms of spiritual truth, Jesus trumps anything we can figure out with our minds. God's truth is simply truer than our experience or reason when it comes to having a relationship with God and living a life that honors and pleases Him.
Truth is a powerful remedy to self-delusion. Understanding and agreeing with the way God knows my life to be gets me beyond rationalizing my life into something it isn't. The standard for truth in spiritual things is not my feelings or my will. The standard for truth is Jesus.
Because Jesus is truth embodied. He said about Himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NIV) Jesus did not say, "I teach the truth." He did not say, "I have written the truth in a book." Jesus said, "I am...the truth."
If we want to know the truth about God, we turn to Jesus. If we want to base our lives on truth that is true, we put our faith in Jesus and read the Word of God with the interpreting help of the Spirit of God.
Two more things about truth: 1 - Jesus also said, "“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV) The truth of Jesus brings freedom from sin and death! 2 - The Apostle Paul named truth as one of the pieces of the armor of God. "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist." (Ephesians 6:14 NIV) Truth protects us like the belt or girdle of armor protects the abdomen of a soldier. Living in the truth of Jesus protects us against the lies of the enemy of our soul.
Jesus is truth. Knowing Him intimately and studying His life as well as His revelation in all of Scripture provides a foundation of truth for our lives that protects us and frees us. As we prayerfully study God's Word we come to share the mind of Christ, and we gain the confidence and courage to live by the truth, whatever the opinions of the world. I pray that God would guide us into His truth, and we would stand there in the power of His Spirit, come what may.