As I prepared for a class I was teaching last week, I was able to really ponder the words of Pilate to Jesus in John 18. Pilate was on a quest for the truth and was also in a rather awkward place. On the one hand, he had pressure to do something with Jesus. On the other hand, he could find nothing to charge Jesus with. All Pilate knew was that there was no basis for any charge against Him. Then just before he incites the crowd to select the person they want to release, Pilate makes a statement that I had really never stopped to consider before. He says, “What is truth?” That is a profound question to ask with significant ramifications depending on how it is answered. Yet, right in front of Pilate was the truth and he missed it.
Why has truth become such a rarity that people need to call attention to it with posts on Facebook that start with: “truth is.” This is supposed to cause people to magically tell the truth about you. Why can’t we just be honest with people? It comes down to an erosion of truth all together, in my opinion. Truth has become far more subjective than it actually is.
We had a camp-out this last weekend with some of our youth group boys. As we sat around the fire, we discussed the work of God in our lives. We talked about how we are supposed to be light and how being bold about our faith is not an option, but the very thing God has called us to do. We talked about the challenges of living out our faith in a world that seems to be bent on removing everything to do with Christ from any public forum. This also led us to our discussion of sin and how it leaves a mark. Yet, we have a God who has taken away our sin!
I love the discussion and the passion that is often showed in these settings. I enjoy seeing as people sit around and meet with the Lord together and He speaks. But, there still seems to be a separation from the real world. In a safe setting of guys sitting around a fire, it is easy to agree with one another. In the real world this question of truth that Pilate asked is the same question being asked in our culture. If you turn on the television you will see a wide range of worldviews being presented and it can make it challenging to decipher truth from lies. The appeal of happiness, materialism and longevity in life has made people pursue remedies and more stuff, while the answer still is found only in Jesus Christ.
The truth is that there will be more and more confusion in the world until the issue of truth is settled. In the same ironic way that Pilate stood before Jesus and asked the question, the world today does the same thing. The truth is right in front of us in the written Word of God and still so many look around for something else. I know that many people don’t like to read. I know that people are busy and might find taking time in the Bible as a waste of time, but to me that misses the point. A relationship with Jesus Christ was never about the doing; it was about being with Him. That is why He came and died on the cross. It wasn’t so that we could check our devotions off of the list of things to do. It was so that we might find the ultimate answer to everything we could ever need in Him.
I feel like I am constantly talking to teenagers about reading their Bibles. Even with all of the talk and realization of its importance, still many of them just won’t do it. What does it take for people to get out of their slumber and spend time with Jesus Christ? This is how things change in our culture. If we who follow Christ don’t spend time with Him on our own, how do we then expect other people to even desire to follow Him? What would happen if people stopped going through the motions and actually sat at the feet of Jesus? I think these are questions that need to be asked because there is so much at stake.
At lunch yesterday my kids were talking about Jesus and I loved it. They didn’t have large and profound things to say. All they said was, “Jesus loves me.” This illustrates for me that so much of this is caught from people in our lives. Parents need to teach their children the Word of God. Homes need to be directed by the Word of God. Pastors or other church leaders need to be actively in God’s Word. We need God’s Word to be alive and active in our lives again and to be honest with the reasons we avoid it.