When Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, Pilate told the crowd he could find no fault in Jesus and saw no reason to have him put to death. But according to Matthew’s gospel, the Jews who had gathered outside of Pilate’s headquarters in Jerusalem were on the verge of rioting. People were shouting out loud calling for Jesus to be crucified. And it was probably far more chaotic a scene than what Matthew described. Pilate knew the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus out of jealousy, but they would never admit it.
According to John chapter 18, when Pilate asked Jesus directly, “Are you a king?” Jesus said to him, “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 my voice.” In the languages of the world at that time, to answer a question as Jesus answered Pilate was to give the strongest affirmation possible. If they had been speaking English, Jesus’ answer would have been, “Absolutely, positively, let there be no doubt in your mind. I am the king and that is the truth.”
But with all the commotion going on, Pilate probably had little interest in seeking the truth. He would certainly never get the truth out of that mob. They were shouting at him from all sides. So it could have been out of sarcasm, or perhaps it was out of indifference that he replied, “What is truth? What Pilate didn’t know was that truth was standing right in front of him. Only a day earlier, Jesus had said “I am the truth.”
The words of the Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Romans are easily applied to the shouting mobs in our day who try to drown out the truth of God’s word. Paul wrote:
They knew God, but they refused to worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
And a few verses later, Paul said, “They traded the truth about God for a lie.”
It’s little wonder then, that ever since that time, people have been asking “What is truth?”
The Bible answers that question very plainly in Psalm 119, verse 160 “The sum of your word is truth.”
That’s the message we need to be preaching to the shouting mobs in our fallen world today. There is only one truth. It’s not relative or whatever one wants to believe. It’s absolute. It’s life saving. It’s eternal. It’s the word of God! Because He is God, when Jesus spoke, He could speak nothing but truth. Jesus is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life, and there is no other way to the Father but through Him. And there is no greater truth than that!