What Is Truth
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
What is the rarest thing in the world today? It’s not gold, silver, or platinum. Even in times of drought it’s not soybeans, corn, or wheat. The rarest thing in the world today is Truth. Information abounds, on the web, in print, and in other media. But these days separating the Truth from all the “chatter” and “background noise” is very difficult.
One reason why Truth is so rare is because many people do not think of Truth as objective—something universal, absolute, and unchanging. Instead, they define Truth subjectively. They let their immediate circumstances, needs, and their own self-interest determine what is “Truth” for them—“Your Truth is Your Truth, My Truth is My Truth” etc.
In John 18:38 the Lord Jesus is asked, “What is truth?” Let’s look at the background of this question for a moment.
First, who is asking this question?
Pontius Pilate, a Roman official. Pilate was the Prefect, or Military Governor, of Judea. He was appointed by Tiberias Caesar, and Governed Judea for eleven years, 26 AD to 37 AD. Judea wasn’t a prized posting, or a generous reward for Caesar’s favorites. Judea was a very troublesome province. Far from Rome, it was a political “dead end” for any ambitious bureaucrat. And Pontius Pilate was ambitious, a “true son” of the Roman political system. Billy Sunday, 1862-1935, the famous baseball player turned Evangelist, colorfully described Pilate as a “pliable, plastic, lickspittle [parasite], rathole, tinhorn, weasel-eyed, ward-heeling, grafting politician of his day, pure and simple.”
Second, why is he asking this question?
Questions are an important part of the teaching process. Every teacher is gratified when students ask questions. It shows that those students are engaged, thinking, and are actually trying to understand what is being taught. However, Pontius Pilate is not an eager student. He is no seeker after Truth. He’s not like the Philippian jailer, who, in Acts 16:30, asks Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Pilate is a mid-level functionary of the Roman State. As such he is more concerned with his Duty, maintaining law and order—and keeping his own position—than with Truth. His question, “What is truth?” is asked in an off-handed manner, indicating that Pilate is “jaded,” bored. His life is empty and unfulfilled. Pilate’s question, coming at the end of his interrogation of Jesus, is also dismissive. He asks the question and doesn’t wait for an answer. Immediately he goes out and tells the waiting crowd, “I find in him [Jesus] no fault at all” (John 18:38).
Finally, why is this question significant?
Pontius Pilate asks, “What is truth?” Like many today he thinks of Truth as an abstract idea, a philosophical concept. It is significant that Pilate is asking Jesus this question. In John 14:6 Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Biblically speaking, Truth is more than an idea. Ultimately Truth “resides” in Jesus Christ; He is Truth personified. Instead of asking Jesus, “What is Truth?” Pontius Pilate could have asked Him, “Who is Truth?” Think of it, the Living Truth, was standing right in front of Pilate, but all Pilate saw was a problem that needed to be solved.
What about you? Do you recognize Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life”? Does the issue of Truth even matter to you, or are you, like Pilate, jaded, bored with life, empty and unfulfilled? Jesus is the answer. He is the only way to find Peace, to be right with God. He is the only way to Heaven. Philosophy, Mysticism, Religious Rituals, or Good Works of any sort will never get you there. Stop looking for Truth in all the wrong places. Turn to Jesus. Admit you are a sinner in need of the salvation Jesus alone provides. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. He rose from the grave, and now offers you new life. Ask Him to save you, and He will. Here is His promise to you:
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” – John 6:37
Blessings to you! – Daniel E. Benton