“Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’”—John 18:38a (NKJV)
Pilate took this question with him into eternity. He did not pause for Jesus to reply; rather he played off the moment with the consolation that this common Jew was no king at all, no real threat to Caesar. Instead, Pilate “went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no fault in Him at all’” (John 18:38b NKJV).
Without a thought, Pilate forever lost the opportunity to sit with Jesus and explore all He had told him:
“My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36 ). (“What kingdom do You mean?”)
“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18: 37) (“Come into this world? From where did You come? Come, sit with me. Tell me more about this truth.”)
Jesus would have told him. Just as he told Nicodemus and the rich, young ruler. Anyone who sincerely sought truth had Jesus’ attention. “Those who have ears,” Jesus would say, “let them hear” (Mark 4:9).
Let them hear and know the truth: that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Truth is a certainty. It hides nothing. It stands the test of time. For His disciples, Jesus asked our Father, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17 NKJV). And David avowed, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160 NKJV). The Holy Spirit through the apostle John set forth that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1 NKJV). Jesus is that Word, and He is the Truth. He is real, His return is certain, and He has not only stood the test of time, He transcends it.
Pilate’s story is not an isolated case. He would not be the first to dismiss Jesus, mock Him as a “king,” or underestimate His power and authority. He would not be the first to scoff or ask a question that is merely self-seeking. David Guzik concurs by writing that “many things are true only on the basis of personal preference or perspective, [many people] think all truth is personal, individual. They think there is no true truth about God; there is only my truth and your truth and one is as good as the other.”
But of those who have an ear to hear Jesus did and does say, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37 NKJV). I pray we all, in humility and sincerity, hear and receive the Truth.
DIG: Can you answer Pilate’s question: “What is truth?”
DISCOVER: Why do you think people are so resistant to seek the truth? What does seeking it force them to do?
DO: If you are still uncertain, ask God to reveal His truth to you. Ask for ears to hear. Pray these words: “Lead me in Your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:5 NKJV).