What is truth?

what is truth

With all the political infighting, investigations, congressional hearings and the constant barrage of information and commentary on the news networks and social media, we are constantly being told “we just want to get to the truth.”

All the players in this drama say they want the truth. All the observers of the drama say they are interested in knowing what the truth is. Pardon my cynicism, but I am not entirely sure anybody wants the truth.

Call it confirmation bias, or whatever, but the truth often depends on what a person wants to hear and how they want the information presented to them. If it doesn’t fit our criteria, then it’s “fake news.” If the other person has a different opinion, they’re wrong.

We are polarized. Of course there’s the argument, what’s true for you might not be true for me. What does that mean? True is true. Opinion is opinion. If a person doesn’t get his/her version they can change the narrative and turn the conversation around by blaming something on the other person. “I might have embezzled money, but you got a parking ticket last year so you are just as bad!” Equivalence?

We are never responsible for our behavior. Watch the news and watch how each side of the political theater obfuscates and dodges the issue.

Political dialog has not changed much since Jesus was put on trial

When Jesus was arrested and put on trial it was all about self-interest and power, all in the name of God. The religious authorizes wanted Jesus killed. The Romans just wanted to keep the peace. The great irony here is that Jesus went on trial, was beaten and crucified, just for being who He said He was and telling the truth.

When He was before Pilate that dreadful morning, Pilot had no interest in who Jesus was, nor did he particularly care what Jesus was saying or doing. He wanted to get rid of the problem. The exchange between Pilate and Jesus in John 18 is telling.

Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” (John 18:29-40)

Religious/political leaders hated Jesus and hated truth

Barabbas lead an insurrection against the Romans, but he gets released. The religious leaders are so angry with Jesus, they want Him killed. Pilate even admitted that he found no guilt in Jesus, but still caved into the demands of the crowd.

Jesus got convicted in an illegal trial, and got put to death for convenience. The religious authorities were so concerned about Jesus actually telling the truth about His resurrection that they demanded a Roman guard on the tomb.

The big lie.

Jesus was tried and executed for being who He was and for telling the truth. What was going on in the deepest reaches of the minds of the Sanhedrin and the Romans? God allowed the crucifixion, because it was by design and the only way to reconcile man to Himself.

But what did those people really think? Maybe the big lie got embraced because it was easier. If Jesus were a criminal, there would be no responsibility for his death. Truth is truth and we are all accountable.