By Pastor Royston Smith
“Your opinion is your opinion; your perception is your perception–do not confuse them with “facts” or “truth”John Moore
I remember a time not so long ago, when people believed in the concept of absolute truth, something that is true for all people, irrespective of culture or religious belief. The phrase, ‘my truth’ or ‘his truth’ has become a part of our daily conversation and it is entirely dependent on opinions and perspectives. Consequently, each person uses their so-called truth as a license to test ethical dilemmas, stretch morality, and breach social boundaries. Sadly, there is a blurred view between “absolute truth” and “fake truth”. According to an old Chinese proverb “there are three truths: there’s my truth, your truth and THE truth.” There really is only one truth.
The world becomes chaotic, confused and contradicting when there is no such thing as absolute truth. This paradigm leaves us without a standard or benchmark. Truth is much more than facts. It is not just something we act upon; it acts upon us. It doesn’t change to suit our circumstances. Truth brings about change.
In the gospel of John chapter 18:28-40, we see the result of Pilate’s nonchalant attitude towards truth. On one hand he knew Jesus’ innocence was the truth; on the other the Jews fabricated their own “truth” that saw Jesus as guilty. Pilate found no fault in Jesus, but the mob said, “Crucify him!” He washed his hands of the situation, flogged him, and handed him over to be killed.
“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 18:38. Standing with Jesus, he posed the question, but didn’t wait for the answer. Before Jesus had a chance to respond, Pilate was on his way to the angry mob. Sadly, he missed the opportunity to hear the truth from the Christ –truth himself. Instead, Jesus was vilified and killed due to the mob’s version of “truth.” Jesus was neither the first victim of relative truth, nor will he be the last.
Abraham Lincoln once asked a member of his deputation, “How many legs would a sheep have if it called his tail a leg?” He replied, “five.” “No,” said Lincoln, “it would not. It would have only four. Calling a tail, a leg doesn’t make it one.” A leg is a leg. Things are not as they appear. Truth is unchangeable. So, how can we know the truth?
Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). He did not show or teach a theory about truth. He pointed to himself as the truth. Jesus is truth personified. He is the source of all truth, the epitome of truth and therefore the only reference point. Trust, listen, believe and live for him. Why? He is the truth.
Father God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to be our example. Help us to accept the truth found in your Word, through the name of Jesus, amen.