Around 2,000 years ago an ineffably surreal conversation took place in a courtroom. The defendant made the claim to be the leader over a kingdom that was not of the earthly realm. He went on to say that the reason why he came into the world was to testify to the truth and that everyone who was of the truth would be able to hear his voice.
I think it’s safe to say that the judge was baffled. What the man standing before him said indicated that he was a lunatic and yet the man’s countenance caused a shiver to go down the judge’s spine. The judge was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of the district of Judea in the early first century. The defendant was Jesus Christ.
Pilate’s response to Jesus’ claim that he came into the world to testify to the truth still reverberates today. “What is truth?”
We live in a world of relativistic truth, yet truth by definition is that which is in accordance to reality. Truth is simply telling it like it is. It’s just the way things are and any other viewpoint is wrong.
For example, to claim that 1 + 1 = 3 is wrong. One is not arrogant or narrow minded or hateful to say so. One is also not being very inclusive to say so. In other words, truth, by nature, excludes its opposite. All answers other than “2” to the problem are excluded from the reality of what 1 + 1 truly equals.
I understand that this can be offensive to those who sincerely believe that 1 + 1 = 3, and to those who represent said belief, well, all I can say is that you’re wrong. See, the thing about truth is that it’s utterly and completely invulnerable to sincere belief.
Danica was picking up our kids from school. The gas gauge was on empty, yet she was behind schedule so she decided to take a chance and pick them up first before swinging by the gas station. Well, by the time she picked them up, her remaining miles to empty glared at her a big fat zero!
Jacob became aware of the situation and expressed concern. Danica replied by singing the song inspired by the famous TV news interview, “Oh Sweet Jesus, ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Danica sincerely believed that there was enough gas in the tank to get her to the gas station! The truth of the matter though, is that when a car runs out of gas it’s going to stop. Doesn’t matter how sincerely you believe otherwise.
The above-described statements regarding truth are also applicable to matters regarding faith, spirituality, religion, and philosophy. In such matters things get a lot more personal than a simple arithmetic problem. Now we have justification for offense. And yet, truth is truth. Truth is, by its very nature, absolute.
Jesus claimed in the gospel of John chapter 18 that he came into the world to testify to the truth and He also claimed that truth was… are you ready? Brace yourself. Deep breath.
He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).”
Truth is not a principle. It’s not a religion or a ritual. It’s not a set of rules and regulations. It’s a Person. It’s what distinguishes Christianity from all other belief systems.
All other faith-based leaders have said, “I point to the truth” or “I’m a prophet of the truth” or something to that effect. Yet they don’t claim to BE the truth because that, my friend, is a claim to deity. Such a claim would relegate them to lunacy.
Since Jesus made that claim, have you relegated Him to that of a lunatic? Or have you accepted Him as Lord? I think it’s safe to say that you are either accepting of His claim to deity or you’re wrestling with it because 1 + 1 = 3 is no longer an option.
~ Paul and Danica Bartelme have been married for 23 years and have three children age 13 years and under. Jacob (13), Lily (11), and Luke (9). They’ve been residents of Escondido for 12 years and love Harley motorcycles and good music. They pastor Escondido’s very own Sanctuary Church.