"Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 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?” (John 18:36-38)
Whether he realized it or not, Pilate was asking the most fundamental question at the core of every human heart; What is truth?
Since the dawn of creation when “God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7), man was created to live in unbroken relationship with God. Adam and Eve knew and worshiped God in “Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:23), as Jesus told the Samaritan woman the Father desires.
Deception and sin had not entered into their world because they had not yet eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Until that point, they had only known the truth and goodness of God, and not the deception and evil of satan. When man sinned, “his eyes were opened” (Genesis 3:7), and he no longer possessed only the knowledge of good, but had now also gained the knowledge of evil.
The heart of man was corrupted. From that moment on, good and evil were both part of the human experience, making it difficult for man to navigate through the waters of deception to find the truth about God. Before the Fall, man possessed a pure knowledge of truth through relationship with God Himself. Today truth is still only found through relationship with God in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is the embodiment of truth. He says of himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
Man may try through science, philosophy and religion to find truth, but he will never find it apart from Christ. Only through Jesus can we know the truth about God, and find the meaning and purpose for our lives. Today through education, social media and entertainment, we are constantly bombarded with different messages, all trying to influence what we believe is true. In today’s postmodern world, truth itself is on trial. Moral relativists tell us we can make our own truth, and in our pluralistic society, there are plenty of “truths” to choose from.
We see the word of God spoken through the prophet Isaiah fulfilled in our day, “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:14)
The incredible irony here is that Pilate was asking God Himself, the living Word of Truth, the question that Jesus specifically came into the world to answer. In fact, Jesus, knowing the heart of Pilate, preemptively answered his question saying, “For this purpose I have been born, and for this purpose I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” (vs. 37)