What is Truth?

Jesus answered [Pilate], “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 me.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
-John 18:37-38 (ESV)
 
 
WHAT IS TRUTH?”  This was Pilate’s infamous, sarcastic and snarky response to Jesus’ statement of purpose—that of bearing witness to the truth.  It is clear that our generation is not the first to lose its grip on truth. 

Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). That includes challenges to “truth”—God’s authorship and authority over the created order.

The challenge to truth goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where the first sin of mankind was centered on this very issue—“truth.”  Though using different words than Pilate, Satan’s challenge was exactly the same.  “Did God really say” (Gen. 3:1)?  In other words, “What is truth?”  “God’s holding out on you.”  “You can’t really believe what He says.”

I have been reading from the book of Daniel this week in my time in the Word.  Daniel is one of the major Old Testament prophets who spoke apocalyptically about the end of times—that time immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ.  In his recorded vision of the Ram and Goat, representing political kingdoms of the end times, Daniel writes that a world leader, pandering in open rebellion against God, for a time prospered in everything he did, and truth was thrown to the ground” (Dan. 8:12). 

In response to the visions God gave him, Daniel poured out his heart in repentant prayer, for his own sins and also the sins of the nation Israel.  Listen to the words he uses as his broken heart confesses.

            “We have sinned.”  8:5
            “We have done wrong.”  8:5
            “We have acted wickedly and rebelled.”  8:5
            “We have turned aside from your commands.”  8:5
            “We have not listened.”  8:6
            “We are covered with shame.”  8:7
            “We have not obeyed.”  8:10
            “All Israel has sinned.”  8:11

Does this not clearly describe us?  “What goes around comes around and what has been will be again” (Eccl. 1:9).  So, once again we find ourselves, in our day and in this country and all around the globe, in an age of apostasy and open rebellion against God, screaming out the words, “What is truth!”  Or we hear declared, “There is no absolute truth.”  “What is true for you isn’t necessarily true for me.” “I decide what truth is.” 

So, in a very disturbing way we find the words of Daniel come true in our lifetime.  Truth has been thrown to the ground.  Is this the age and are these the kingdoms that Daniel spoke of in his prophetic vision that was sealed, “because it concerned the distant future” (Dan. 8:26)?  Is this that distant future?   

I do not know the answer to this definitively.  I do believe the return of Jesus is near.  I do believe that truth has been thrown to the ground.  I do believe that we can, and must, pray the same prayer for ourselves and our nation that Daniel prayed.

This is a battle of worldviews—the beliefs we hold that determine how we live and behave.  The battle has never been more intense, and the stakes could not be higher.  We must put on the full armor of God and wage war against the “father of lies” (Jn. 8:44).

Jesus declared of Himself, “I am the way the TRUTH and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6).

Jesus further prays for his disciples, “Sanctify them by the TRUTH; Your word is TRUTH” (Jn. 17:17).

John, the beloved apostle writes,

I write to you, not because you do not know the TRUTH,
but because you know it, and because no lie comes from the TRUTH.
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  This is the
antichrist, he denies the Father and the Son.  No one who denies
the Son has the Father.  Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
                                                                                 
     ~1 John 2:21-23

Brothers and sisters, put your armor on!  Pick up the “belt of truth” from off the ground.  Cinch it securely around you and firmly take your stand.  You will not stand successfully against the enemy without it.

Know this:
            Truth will prevail.  Will you? 
                        His word will stand.  Will you?
                                    Christ will reign victorious.  Will you?