Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. (John 18:38 ESV)
What is truth? That philosophical pursuit has been the chief question for many thinkers across history. What makes something true? What makes something untrue? And what the implications for either?
Pilate was faced with the truth of Jesus’ identity. A truth each of us must also face. Pilate had the added complication of a volatile geopolitically charged climate. You and I must merely answer the question of the truth of Christ for ourselves.
We’re not told of Pilate’s answer. We don’t know what he determined truth to be. However, he did state that he found Jesus to be not guilty of the charges leveled against him. He found him undeserving of the death penalty. And then, in action both contradictory and concessional—he turned Jesus over to be crucified as an appeasement for the Jewish mob.
Pilate’s own mixed wonderings about truth led to his perplexing actions. And it is a reality in which we share. Our view of truth will shape our actions. What we believe in forms the context and motivation for all of our most meaningful behavior. So, it might be a good time to go look in the mirror and ask the person staring back, “What is truth?”