John 14:6, John 18:28-40,1 Corinthians 2:14,2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:1-3, Acts 4:12,1 John 5:12, Isaiah 40:8
Summary: The drama of redemption continued as the Lord Jesus, having faced an illegal trial by the religious authorities of Israel, now faced the representative of political authority in Israel, Pontius Pilate, and the conversation he had with the true Authority.
John 18:28-40 records the probable final conversation that the Lord Jesus has with another person before he was led off to be crucified. He had a dialogue with the Roman governor of the Judean province, Pontius Pilate, and we also see that these two men had opposing agendas. Pilate comes across as an agitated official who sees no sense in settling what seems to be a petty dispute over religious practices. His words, dripping with sarcasm, demonstrate such an attitude. Jesus, on the other hand, uses this time to reveal to this pagan Gentile His true identity as the King of the Jews and pulls no punches in affirming this when questioned by Pilate (18:37). Jesus told Pilate that His mission in coming to this world was to go to the cross and to die in order to bear witness to the truth.
It is here where the exasperated and annoyed governor asked a question birthed in pure cynicism: “Veritas Est?” (Latin) or, in the English language, “What is truth?” (v.38). He wanted no answer, and he did not want to wait to see whether he received one. This question was nothing more than an exercise in rhetoric and an affirmation in what is known as “relativism,” a Greek philosophy which taught that truth really cannot be known. In essence, what truth is for someone else might not be truth for yourself. This mindset has passed on throughout the generations and is a part of societal thinking today, and woe be on anyone who may contradict it. Here in the United States, it is estimated by some polls that 67% of adults believe that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
What is so bad is that an estimated 52 -75% of people who claim to be “Christians” in America buy into the narrative that truth is relative as well. 65% of professing “believers” in Christ say that the devil as described in Scripture is nothing more than a “symbol of evil” and not a literal malevolent being. Some of us then wonder why there are few sermons being presented from the pulpits on the subject of sin, evil, hell, and judgment. If the people and, worse, pastors, refuse to believe in the standards of Scripture and the authority of Christ, then it is little wonder why the Gospel message is not being taken seriously in these last days? (Job 9:20, 35:2; Proverbs 12:15, 16:2, 20:6, 21:2; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Timothy3:1-8; 2 Corinthians 10:12; Revelation 3:17).
You have the freedom to believe what you will, but there IS such a thing as absolute truth! Jesus said that He came “to bear witness to the truth” (John 14:6, 17, 15:26, 16:13, 17:17).
Truth can also be defined as “conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. Truth is the authentic state of facts or things; conformity of words or thoughts; veracity, purity from falsehood; correct opinion; honesty, virtue” (Source: Webster’s 1828 Online Dictionary).
For example, you can tell me that oil rigs are built out of unicorn fur and fairy dust, and I tell you that oil rigs are built with steel, welds, fittings, and instruments designed to drill and strike oil reserves either offshore or onshore. You say afterward, “Oh, that may be true for you, but not for me.” Would I then be compelled to agree with your outlook and let things be, or would I consider you a candidate for serious counseling?
Anyone who would deny absolute truth should not enter the fields of aviation, engineering, medicine, education, or anything else that places them within the realm of obvious reality and rationality. The very structure of our being and life in this world should tear the idea of relativism to shreds, but it still manages to get a hold on people who would rather be content in their own views and not be open to anything else.
Relativistic thinking and uncertainty about life in general have no grounds in the Scriptures (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21), nor is anything of that ever affirmed or taught by the prophets, the Lord Jesus Christ, or the apostles who followed the LORD and continued His work after His death, resurrection, and return to heaven (Acts 1:1-11). Every verse of the Bible speaks of the truth concerning God, His will, His power, His standards, and His plan to save us from our sinful and malicious nature, done so on HIS terms alone (John 3:16, 6:68, 8:24,14:6; Acts 4:12, 16:31; Romans 5:6-11, 10:9-10; 1Corinthians 2:2, 3:11; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:5-7).
Those that hear about the truth of Christ and then choose to walk away from it are content to remain in their self-deception and lies. Then, at the end of their lives (James 4:13-15), they have the gall to try and justify their wickedness and rebellion before the Holy, Sovereign, Righteous, Sovereign LORD God Almighty and humanity. Do they really think that they can walk off feeling that they are free from any accountability and responsibility? That would be a rejection of absolute truth in and of itself, as well as foolishness on a grand scale (Luke 12:13-21; Ephesians 2:1-3; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15).
Pilate never bothered to hear more from the very Personification of Truth that stood before him. After the time of dialogue they had, he ended up shuffling Jesus off to the reprobate Herod Antipas, who then had Him returned to Pilate, who faced the hostile Pharisees, who demanded that the sentence of death be placed upon the One who had done no wrong or had any deceit come from Him (Isaiah 53:9). As far as Pilate was concerned afterward, Jesus was nothing more than a malefactor who had angered the local religious body and a possible reactionary against the rule of Caesar, to be crucified, buried, and then forgotten.
The Scriptures do not mention Pilate after his appearance in the four Gospels. In 1961, a group of Israeli archaeologists uncovered a portion of a building cornerstone bearing his name that further helped to verify his existence. This discovery gave additional historical credibility to the accuracy of what had been recorded in the Bible. Historical records state that Emperor Tiberius Caesar had Pilate removed from power in A.D. 36 and exiled to what is now Switzerland. He allegedly committed suicide, drowning himself in Lake Lucerne. This is a sad ending to a life that could have been transformed if only he had really taken the time to hear his question, asked in skepticism, be answered in compassion and mercy by the ONE who is the way, the TRUTH, and the Life.
Pilate, like so many after him, chose to reject the salvation and peace Christ offers to anyone who will come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30) and instead be content with their own foolish and tragic idea of truth, to their eternal consequences. Don’t you follow that foolish path, please.
My book The Scope of Biblical Prophecy is now available at: www.parsonsporch.com. It is a general look at the role and importance of Bible prophecy, the importance of correct interpretation of the Scriptures, the varied ways of how the last days events are to occur, and that in the end, Jesus wins.
Donald was born and reared in the authentic “Cajun Country” of southern Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education/ Biblical Studies, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. In Christian Education, 1994), and Andersonville Baptist Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, Biblical Exposition, 2000). He has been in the Gospel ministry since 1986, serving as an evangelist, interim and supply pastor, hospital and rescue mission chaplain, high school and college teacher, and pastor in churches in Louisiana and Oklahoma.
In 2018 he began to devote his time to the rich field of internet and social media evangelism and outreach. In 2021 he became a member of the Oklahoma Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, using his skills as a writer to contribute articles and sermons to websites such as Rapture Ready, Sermon Central, and Inspirational Christian Blogs. He also writes Bible studies and curricula for churches in southeast and central Asia and Africa, the locations of which are anonymous. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries, information, and speaking/preaching engagements. A copy of his resume is also available upon request.
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