Tom: We’re in the Gospel of John:18:38. And, Dave, let’s just get right into it, okay? “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews and said unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” Dave, you want to give us a little background of what’s going on here?
Dave: Well, Jesus has just said to Pilate in verse 37: “For this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Well, that says a great deal right there, and I don’t want to get off and jump on Christian psychologists, so-called, and so forth, but you see, you can’t be a Berean—we call our ministry The Berean Call. We ask people to search the Scriptures, that’s the name of this radio program. We get that from Acts:17:11, of course, as everyone knows, unless we have some new listeners there, because the Bereans, those living in the city of Berea…
Tom: …in Greece…
Dave: They searched the…well, first of all, it says, “They received the word of God with all readiness of mind,” and then they searched the Scriptures daily to see whether what Paul taught was true to the Scriptures. So, we want to do that, but you can’t be a Berean and check out Christian psychology strictly from the Scriptures, because the Christian psychologist says, “Well, but all truth is God’s truth, and there are other sources of truth.”
See, Jesus said, “Thy word is truth. I am the truth.” John 8: “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. You will know the truth….” So apparently, “the truth” comes from His Word. And here He says, “I came to bear witness to the truth.” Now, some people say, “Oh, well, 10 X 10 is 100. That’s part of God’s truth. All truth is God’s truth.”
No, that is not what Jesus is talking about. He certainly didn’t come to bear witness to 10 X 10 is 100. He certainly didn’t come to bear witness to scientific facts. He came to bear witness to something very special. The truth. And that the truth is very special indeed is clear from what He says: “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”
Now, Freud never heard Christ’s voice. Ungodly people do not hear Christ’s voice. And the wisdom of the world that Paul says we reject as Christians that is contrary to the Scriptures, that is not the truth. So “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice,” now, in John 8 again, Jesus said, “Because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.” Now again, that indicates the truth He is talking about is very special. “Because I tell you that e=mc2 you believe me not?” I mean, if they knew that in that day? Or “Because I tell you that the attraction between two bodies is directly proportional to the mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers—you know, the law of gravity—you don’t believe me?”
NO! We know the truth is not some scientific fact. It’s not “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” but it becomes even clearer, John 14: “Jesus said, I’m not going to leave you orphans. I will send the Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not neither knoweth him.”
And when you get to John 16, He says, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will lead you into all truth.” Now if we have something called “the truth” that is taught by the Spirit of truth, and the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth, and the Spirit of truth leads into all truth, and if you are of the truth, you hear—that means you follow Christ, then this is only what comes from God’s Word by His Spirit, and it is only for those who know Him.
Tom: Dave, you just quoted John:17:17, but the first part of that goes, “Sanctify them through your truth.” Sanctify them. Set them apart.
Tom: So that’s what you’ve been talking about.
Dave: Amen. You’re not sanctified by scientific facts.
Dave: You’re not sanctified by a declaration of something that really happened. Truth! Tom, there is an 8-volume set of philosophy covering everything in philosophy. And it has three sentences about truth. Truth is not easy to define. And Pilate has just asked Jesus, “What is the truth?” He probably had all kinds of men stand before him and solemnly swear to tell the truth, and they lied. But that’s all he knows. But Jesus is talking about something far beyond that. The truth—we want to know the truth—what is the truth about life? About who God really is? What are God’s purposes and plans? Why did He create man? What has gone wrong between God and man? What is the solution?
This is ultimate truth—the answers to the ultimate question. Your little girl or little boy says, “Daddy, why do they do that?” Well, you try to explain.
“But why?” Well, then you try to explain it a little more.
“But why?” They’re looking for some ultimate answer beyond which there are no further questions. And that comes from God alone, and it involves something very important—man’s eternal destiny, and this is what Jesus is saying.
Tom: Yeah, you quoted…or you referred to John 14, the verse, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” So, it’s in Him. That’s where it’s found. That’s why Pilate was clueless about it. Here, the truth is standing right in front of him.
Dave: And, Tom, that does away with all the ecumenism. It does away with “dialogue.” Catholics have been dialoguing with the Muslims, and the Southern Baptists have been dialoguing with the Catholics, and they’re dialoguing with the Buddhists, and…
Dave: Yeah, and the Lutherans dialogued with the Catholics for years, finally, supposedly came to an agreement. You don’t dialogue about truth. You declare the truth. And there is no compromise. I’m thinking of Simon Greenleaf, cofounder of the Harvard Graduate School of Law, highest authority you could quote on evidence. And when Greenleaf became a Christian, he wrote a book to his colleagues in the legal profession. He said, “You are accustomed to hearing evidence—to examining the evidence, listening to witnesses, and on the basis of what the facts declare, arriving at a just and a sound conclusion.” And he challenged his colleagues: “If you will examine the Scriptures, you will find that Jesus is the truth.”
And then he said something rather interesting. He said, “The Bible declares all religions in this world are wrong. It is not an attempt to get along with everybody, but it says there is only one way, one truth, one redemption, one hope—that’s in Jesus Christ.”
Now, we make no apology for saying that.
Tom: Well, you didn’t come up with it. This isn’t your personal idea, or your opinion.
Dave: Amen. And, Tom, if we don’t tell this straight to people, we do them a disservice. Well, but…okay, Pilate says, “All right.” He goes out to the people, and he says, “I don’t find any fault in this man, but you’ve got a custom that I should release one at the Passover.” I guess he’d been doing this for years. “Now, would you like me to release the King of the Jews?”
It’s incredible, Tom, they cry out again, saying, “Not this man but Barabbas!” And Barabbas, it says, was a robber. He was worse than that. He was a murderer, he had led an insurrection, and when you think of the choice that people have—you have a choice, everyone listening to my voice. You either choose Jesus, you either accept Him, receive Him as your Lord and Savior—or you reject Him. And when you reject Him, you choose Barabbas. You choose the one who leads the rebellion against God.
Tom: Dave, that’s the heart of man. We’re reading this, and we’re just dumbfounded, yet, who can really be dumbfounded? That would be us! We would be Pilate there, but for the grace of God, but for…you know, I don’t know…
Dave: Well, Tom, it speaks to my heart. Am I choosing myself, really—that’s Barabbas—am I choosing myself or Christ? The decisions I make in life, the ambitions that I have. Do I really believe He loves me? That God’s way, then, must be best? And am I willing to let me have His way in my life, and let Jesus be my Lord, my Master, my Guide? That’s the question that confronts each of us when we read these scriptures.