What Was Pilate Really Asking Jesus?

by Kevin Burton

   Remember the days when playing solitaire on computer was a wonder?  We had just advanced to the point where getting online didn’t mean tying up your phone line. 

   After that there was no holding us back!

   Solitaire was as far as my father stretched his computer skills. He had issues with that even. He told me he tried to cheat at the game, but it didn’t work. 

   This is the second part of a series called “10 Questions from the Bible.”  Today’s question comes from Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea.  His question to Jesus, “What is truth?” We’ll go from solitaire to scripture to answer that question.

   My dad said he tried to cheat at computer solitaire, so I tried it. I took a red card, dragged it to another red card. But as soon as I let go of the mouse, the card would go back to the stack, ready to be played properly.  You could do that all day if you wanted but the card would always revert back.

   Or, you could sit there with your hand on the mouse all day and that red eight would look like it belongs on the red nine. 

   Some people remind me of that.  They know God’s law, God’s truth, but it’s inconvenient for them.  So they create their own standards, their own truth. 

   Intellectually, it’s just as unnatural and ridiculous as someone holding a mouse clicker all day.

   But that’s where matters stand, right up to the point when they die.  That point of death is like letting go of that mouse in our solitaire example. They’ve lost the ability to subvert the rules. The card goes right back where it’s supposed to go. 

   You’ve drawn your last breath. God’s truth stands for all eternity. What have you gained by ignoring His rules for a few years on earth?

   American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Truth is tough. It will not break like a bubble at a touch, nay you may kick it about all day like a football and it will be round and full at evening.”

   As for Pilate, he didn’t even stick around to get an answer to his question.  Here is the story from the book of John. 

   “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.’”

   “Pilate therefore said unto him, ‘Art thou a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.’

   “Pilate saith unto him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, ‘I find in him no fault at all’ (John 18: 36-38.   KJV).

      I don’t think Pilate was asking a question. But if he was, his real question was “what good is truth?”

   But the better question is, “who is truth.”

   He who has the power to set and enforce His law is the truth. God is truth.

   Anyone ever tell you that you don’t have a right to the truth?  Or, there is no one truth, ever hear that one? 

   We’re talking about ultimate truth here.  If you have multiple differing “truths” you have no truth, by definition.

   As for my right to the truth?  I don’t have the right to set the truth, but I do have the right to locate and identify the truth and set my life by it.

   What truth do you live by today?

   The word truth is used 224 times in the KJV, almost evenly divided between the Old (115) and New (109) Testaments. Twenty-two of those are in book of John.

   John 8: 32 is where you find “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    Once I rode in a very small prop plane from Seattle to Whidbey Island, Washington. This plane was so small the pilot himself read the safety instructions. He told me exactly where to place my suitcase. He also asked me how much I weighed. 

   I told him the truth.

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