Monday Miscellany ; November 26,2007

Focus Text: John 18.33-38

We hear a lot about truth. Witnesses in legal proceedings are duty bound to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Under many circumstances, consumers are advised of certain facts under the truth in lending laws. Children are taught the value of truth and the honor that inheres with always telling the truth. Truth is a small word that packs a tremendous wallop when it comes to our lives, our country, our society, our economy, and most importantly to our spiritual welfare.

“Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You 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 fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no fault in Him at all.’” (John 18.33-38).

Everyone believes in truth – as long as they are allowed to define it. As Bible students bound by the knowledge that is contained in the scriptures, we may never know Pilate’s motives when he asked the question, “What is truth?” But, he believed in truth, at least his “brand” of truth. Having spoken such with Jesus, he came before the Jews and said, “I find no fault in Him at all.” He believed in a criminal justice system and in his right to inquire in search of truth. He believed in his authority under that system as well as the obligations that were connected with that authority. Like all others, Pilate believed in his brand of truth.

Over the past few decades, our society has “fudged” when it comes to truth. Prior to that, I cannot recall hearing things such as “your truth” and “my truth.” Truth was truth and had no ownership. Neither do I recall hearing that “perception is reality.” If it is true that perception is reality and I perceive that perception is not reality, am I correct? Such intellectual shenanigans are absurd, ignorance gone to seed! Of course perception is not reality! Any person who has bumped his shin in the night because they thought they were going around the piece of furniture knows that; every person who has ever bounced a check because they thought they had enough funds to cover their draft knows that perception is not reality. How our society could have degenerated from knowing that truth exists to the current state of knowing only that truth does not exist is an enigma that shall not soon be solved in the minds of those who value reason and truth!

What is truth? Truth is simply things the way they are; truth is fact. When it comes to spiritual truth, there is one truth from whence all other truths originate. If one does not start with God, the result will not be truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14.6) Believe it!

Questions:

1. If truth is not absolute, can anyone know it absolutely?

2. If truth is absolute, can anyone know it absolutely?

3. If perception is reality, does reality change when perception changes? Is it possible that the sun really did revolve around the earth as it was perceived at one time, and then it changed?

4. If Jesus really is the truth, from what other sources does spiritual truth originate?