Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 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 guilt in Him.John 19:33-38
My Kingdom is not of this world.
If it were my servants would fight.
I am a king.
I was born – I came into the world – to testify to the truth.
Those of the truth hear my voice.
Pilate’s response to all of this is, “What is truth?”
It is this question that I will be trying to answer today.
Typically, when we think of truth, we think of things that are factual. Covenant eschatology is not true. Covenant eschatology is true. He preaches truth. She does not preach truth. They have left behind the truth.
In other words, what is right and what is wrong?
But is this what Jesus had in mind when He spoke of those that were of the truth?
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
What is the word? The Hebrew Scriptures? The New Testament? The entire Bible?
What is the word?
What is the truth?
Jesus answers, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).
When Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Jesus could have answered, “Me.”
If Jesus is the truth, and the word is the truth, then Jesus is the word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.John 1:1-5
“For this I have come into the world…” “And the Word became flesh…” “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
Jesus came into the world to save (John 3:16). Jesus came into the world to be a king and to testify to the truth (John 19:33-38). Jesus came into the world as the embodied Word/ Logic/ Truth to demonstrate the glory of the Father and explain Him (John 1:14-18).
To know Truth is to know Jesus. To know Jesus is to know God. And that is eternal life (John 17:3).
All of these things, Jesus’ power to save and give life, Jesus’ kingship, the Truth, are the same.
John wrote, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). It’s not about a list of facts: five steps of salvation, five acts of worship, eschatology, how the Holy Spirit indwells, how many cups you use. The Law certainly contained TRUTHS (just like this previous list contains truths) but it did not produce true freedom. It is the TRUTH that sets you free (John 8:32). Of course a few verses later, it is the SON that sets you free (John 8:36). Again, the TRUTH and the SON are one.
To know Jesus is to know the truth.
Even if you don’t have all of your facts straight.
Even if your eschatology is all wrong.
How, then, can you know that you have the truth?
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;1 John 2:3-4
According to some, everyone else except for their fellowship are liars and the truth is not in them because they don’t keep the commandments.
What they mean by that is they worship with instruments or only take the Lord’s Supper once a month or something.
But what does John mean by commandments?
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.1 John 3:23-24
How do you know if you abide in Jesus and, therefore, God?
Well, do you believe in the name of Jesus?
Do you love your neighbor?
Well, you know the Truth!
Are you sold on monotheism or do you practice monolatry? Are you confused about what day is holy or do you not regard any day as holy or maybe all of them as holy? Do you keep the dietary restrictions? Do you eat things sacrificed to idols? Do you not eat things sacrificed to idols?
Some of the above are “correct” and some are “incorrect” but none of them determine whether or not you have been set free by the Truth.
What is Truth? The Christ is Truth. God is Truth. Loving your neighbor is Truth.
I’m reminded of one more passage: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
If someone has the fruit of the Spirit, there is no law that I can think of that excludes them from belonging to Christ Jesus, but most of my life has been spent trying to do just that. If they have the fruit of the Spirit, regardless of race or creed, they abide in Truth.