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Day 30 - What We Should Do with Truth

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 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. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. (John 18:33-40 ESV)

The exchange between Jesus and Pilate is a fascinating paradox. Here, Pilate, the judge, stands in stark contrast to the Jewish leaders who brought accusations against Jesus. Unlike their blind certainty, Pilate seems to genuinely seek the truth through his questioning (verses 33 and 35). He attempts to discern the facts amidst the heated accusations.

However, Pilate's pursuit of truth takes a sharp turn in verse 38. Jesus' answer about his kingdom not being of this world (v. 36) confronts Pilate with a truth that seems inconvenient. His exasperated and rhetorical question, "What is truth?" exposes a deeper reality. Pilate likely wasn't genuinely seeking some profound philosophical answer. Instead, his question reveals a man trying to avoid personal responsibility for an unjust judgment. He wants the comfort of ignorance, a way to escape culpability for condemning an innocent man.

The story of Pilate offers valuable lessons for us. Firstly, it highlights the importance of actively seeking truth in our own lives. Just like Pilate, we will encounter situations filled with biases and incomplete information. We can learn from his initial approach by asking questions, considering diverse perspectives, and consulting reliable sources before forming opinions. But ultimately, Pilate, washes his hands of responsibility when the truth becomes inconvenient.

So, let’s not be like Pilate. Truth is valuable, but it's only meaningful when acted upon.  When faced with inconvenient truths, we shouldn't become cynical or retreat. Pilate ultimately fails to act on the truth he uncovers.  While his situation was complex, John teaches us that we should not shy away from defending what's right, even if it's uncomfortable or unpopular.  Whether it's speaking out against injustice or simply correcting a misunderstanding, this passage reminds us to find the courage to act on our convictions.

Let’s pray that we can seek the truth and act on a truth that needs to be made public today.

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