We have a few sayings to question or define truth in a specific situation. Seeing is believing, history is written by the victors, might is right, there it is in black and white, are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. Seeing is often believing but there are optical illusions and somethings our eyes can’t see. I remember my mother having to convince me I needed to wash my hands before dinner. I didn’t understand, they looked clean to me, so I didn’t have any germs. I’ve never seen a virus, but I sure have felt the effects of some. History, particularly that of wars, is often written by the winners of the conflict and skewed in their favor. However, in time, the desire to understand can lead to a refinement of what happened, or even a change within the society drives a different look at the past. What is written in black and white, newspapers or books, still has a strong influence on me, but I’ve learned to look at the perspective of the author and additional sources if the subject matters to me.
What we believe to be true is heavily influenced by what we’ve seen or heard/read, and experienced. Experience may well be one of the most powerful influences of what we call true. But what if seeing or experiencing does not always give us the complete definition of truth. What if there is something else going on out of sight, contrary to experience and logic? Can it be true?
In the Gospel of John, when Jesus is on trial before Pontius Pilate, he is asked “what is truth?” Did Pilate miss the point and danger of Jesus’ kingship and kingdom? Or did Pilate simply not care. At that time Rome was the great power of the Mediterranean world. As long as Caesar favored him, Pilate was the voice of Rome in the area he governed. He sees a threat only in military terms. Jesus assures him he is not a king of military armies, but of truth. To a man who is part of the might of Rome, participated in many Roman military victories, Pilot only believes in the Roman sword and the truth of military dominance.
Do we recognize the source and reality of where or from whom- life comes from, what matters and what ultimately will not matter, as we live out today and our mortal life? I wonder, are we following ourselves, human truth and/or desire or following God? Often, we don’t think too much about the greater Truth. We are so busy we decide what matters most one day at a time, what fits into getting through this day, our reality, our truth.
Pilate did not listen or understand the truth of Jesus. Are we listening? Jesus, who Pilate will have crucified, is the embodiment of the Way-Truth-and Life. One that is not like any we have sought or embraced before. A Truth that can seem to be unrealistic and offer no advantage in our real world.
Are we listening? Does it matter in the so-called real world? This Sunday is referred to as the “Reign of Christ Sunday.” Join us as we ask ourselves, does it matter?
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!