This was one of the questions Pontius Polite, the Roman Governor of Judea A.D. 26-36, asked Jesus who had been brought before him after the mockery of the trials He went through almost two thousand years ago. This account is recorded in John 18:38 and it appears Polite walk away from Jesus and did not wait for an answer.
Today, we find many multiple millions, even billions, ironically asking that very same question. “What is truth?”
Do we really want to know The truth?
First, the question should be rephrased to “What is the Truth”, to be completely accurate because many things can contain “some” truth, but only one thing can actually be the Truth.
Secondly, in the context relative to God, we should understand that Truth is not a thing but a person. Jesus made an audacious statement recorded in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through (by) me.”
That would be a pretty audacious thing for a mere man to say, if He was indeed just a mere man and that statement was not true. But even more audacious was Jesus’ claim that He was more than a mere man, in truth, God in the flesh, (John 1:1, 14; 1 Timothy 3:16 and others) which was evidenced (proved) by His resurrection from the dead after three days (Romans 1:4 and others).
He clearly took truth from the realm of an inanimate object (thing) and personified it to Himself.
So, all the back-and-forth discussion today, as well as what has been going on for centuries in human history regarding what is the true, accurate world view, on any subject matter, should begin by recognizing truth as a person, not a thing.
Seek and you shall find
Now I realize that many people may not and will not agree with that. Well, to them I would just advise they take that up with the only Creator God of the universe.
I also realize that not everyone even believes in the creator God. (Which is amazing when we look at everything around us, both in nature and in man-made things, e.g., buildings, clothes, vehicles, electronic devices, etc.)
We know just from common sense that someone had to make all these man-made items, so why would we think the physical world we see, i.e., the sun, moon, stars, etc., just “popped” here by chance? That is another topic for another time.
The point is, unless we look at any subject matter in the proper context and from an accurate perspective, our conclusion(s) will undoubtedly be distorted and skewed. We will obviously then come to wrong opinions.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13
Those Words from God came through the prophet Jeremiah to the children of Israel who had be taken away captive into Babylon approximately 600 B.C. It also has practical application for anyone today as well who sincerely seeks Him.
Big deal or no big deal?
Now coming to wrong, inaccurate conclusions or opinions in some areas of life may not be a big deal or a life altering event. However, decisions that we make do have consequences, some obviously more impactful than others.
For example, I recall one time when I was about ten years of age, my grandmother sent me on an errand to pay her insurance bill and told me distinctly which bus to catch.
Well, it was the first time I ever caught a bus. I was alone. I was young and pretty nervous. I got on the first bus that pulled up to the corner. The bus made a left turn instead of going right like my grandmother instructed that it should. (I was on the wrong bus.)
Rather than immediately getting up and going to the front to get off, I sat there longer than I should have, contemplating my error and decision I suppose. (Not very smart.)
I obviously survived that incident. I had the truth, which bus to take, but did not act on it. I erroneously got on the wrong bus, “thinking”, oh well, “maybe” this bus will get me to where I need to go as well.
Why is it so important to know what the absolute true is? Because obviously some wrong decisions and opinions in life have far greater consequences than going the wrong direction on a bus. Someone taking the wrong amount of medication can be deadly. Going the wrong way on a one-way street can cause an accident. Following bad financial advice can cause severe monetary hardship, etc. I think you get the point.
However, nowhere are the consequences nearly as important than in the area of eternity. That is a very, very long time.
It’s a Question of Source
Some will say, “well, I do not believe in eternity, or it doesn’t matter what we believe.” I find it interesting when I hear people say things like that because it’s as if a person just saying something like that makes it true.
Sure, anyone can have an opinion on any subject matter. But the question is, what source are those opinions based on?
The human brain and our minds are utterly amazing. We can think anything or whatever we want. But what are those beliefs and opinions based on? What, if any, is the authoritative, sound absolute truths they spring from?
For example, one person may say “I think 2 plus 2 equals 5,” while another will say “it equals 4.” Obviously, there are specific, absolute mathematical laws and principles that exist that leads us to know which is correct.
There are many examples in math, science, and nature where these principles and laws are found. The essence of reality calls for unchangeable, absolute truths. This universe could not function without unconditional predictable physical laws.
The Bible has a lot to say about what the Truth is. In fact, the word truth occurs 223 times in the NKJV.
The Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself, should be the basis and foundational truth for every aspect, opinion, thought and conclusions we come to in life.
In Jesus’ Highly Priestly prayer of John 17:17, He said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.”
Why is that important? Because as we all know, there are many different belief systems in the world, which are referred to as “religions.” One of the definitions of sanctify is “to separate from profane things and dedicate to God.”
Jesus was not saying that we should separate ourselves in the sense that we think we are “better” than unbelievers in the world.
What He was saying, He said just before that in verse 15, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
Well, to be kept from the evil in the world is to know the Truth.