“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”
George R. R. Martin
The Blind & the King
by Mark Karapetyan
One of the most amazing questions ever recorded in the Gospels is the question that Pilate asked Jesus while they were both in the judgment hall, during one of Jesus’ trials before his crucifixion: “what is truth?”
It is a question that has vibrated throughout history from ancient times, and is still very relevant today.
On an early morning, two thousand years ago, most likely during the month of April, in Jerusalem, the Roman guards, Pharisees, scribes, and other legalists, all together, illegally bound, arrested, and led Jesus to be tried at the palace of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea.
A fascinating conversation took place between a man who thought he was a king (Pilate) and a man who is a king (Jesus):
“Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.” (John 18:33-38).
Notice how Jesus makes an incredible statement when he tells Pilate that everyone who is of the truth hears his voice. He is actually explaining to Pilate that Pilate has no clue whether Jesus is king or not, because Pilate is not of the truth; therefore, he can’t hear what Jesus is telling him. If he can’t hear Jesus’ voice, how can he possibly understand what Jesus is saying?
Jesus once noted to Thomas that he is the “truth the way and the life” (John 14:6). If he is the truth, others can’t also be the truth, but they can be of the truth. That’s why he told Pilate that those who hear his voice are of the truth, but not the truth. Only Jesus is the truth, his believers are of him.
So, what is the next thing Pilate does after hearing this from Jesus? He asks him “what is truth?” as if Jesus wasn’t even talking to him at all. How foolish of Pilate!
If he had paid attention to what Jesus had told him earlier, he would have understood what the truth is, but because Pilate was not of the truth, he couldn’t hear Jesus, hence, he was unable to understand Jesus’ words.
Instead of waiting to get a response to his question, Pilate foolishly walks away and stunningly utters a TRUTH statement when he declares to everyone that he finds no fault in Jesus: “I find no fault in him at all.”
Pilate was not only “not of the truth,” but was also blind. He had the embodiment of truth, the God-man standing right before him, yet because of his spiritual blindness, he had no idea that he was actually talking to THE king. Interestingly enough, at the end of this dialogue between Pilate and Jesus, although Pilate declares that Jesus is innocent and finds no fault in him; he releases Jesus back to his accusers to be crucified.
How odd! If Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, why did he hand him over to his adversaries to be killed? (I will cover this topic in more depth when I write about the six trials of Jesus).
Pilate was not able to fathom Jesus’ words, nor was he able to understand the nature of his spiritual kingdom, but he was now certain that the prisoner had done nothing worthy of death. One look at Jesus, face to face, was enough to convince even Pilate that this gentle and weary, but majestic and upright, man was no wild and dangerous revolutionary who aspired to establish himself on the temporal throne of Israel. Pilate thought he understood something of what Jesus meant when he called himself a king, for he was familiar with the teachings of the Stoics, who declared that “the wise man is king.” Pilate was thoroughly convinced that, instead of being a dangerous sedition monger, Jesus was nothing more or less than a harmless visionary, an innocent fanatic.
Some things in life never change. For more than two thousand years, mankind has asked the “what is truth?” question. Like Pilate, so many people have missed it, even though it was right in front of them, because they were asking the wrong question. The question is not what is truth, but rather, who is truth?
The majority of people today are blind, much like Pilate, and they do not recognize truth. Ask your friends if they can define truth and see how interesting and edgy the conversation will become. Ask them if they believe that truth is absolute or relative, and watch them absolutely affirm that truth is relative!
I have never seen people hostile to anything like they are to truth. The moment you mention to them that truth exists, they are immediately outraged and offended. The minute you suggest to them that truth is a concrete reality and that it’s immutable, you are instantly shut down and labeled as narrow-minded.
It is a strange, wicked world we live in today where people will shun you for standing up for the truth and celebrate you for suppressing it.
College professors all over the world, specifically in the west, teach students that truth does not exist. Parents tell their children that truth changes based on preferences, emotions, and experiences. Preachers lecture the world that there is not “only one true way to Heaven.” The corrupt biased media brainwashes the gullible masses 24/7 into believing that if you are a truth exclusivist, then you are an intolerant, offensive, small-minded zealot.
It’s a peculiar, odd world we live in today where many people believe that all truth claims are equally valid. If you state otherwise, you will be viciously attacked, mocked, and ridiculed.
Try mentioning in any setting that Jesus is the truth, and watch fireworks explode everywhere. People have become so blinded by the pride, wickedness, and deception that they can no longer discern right from wrong. Just like Pilate, instead of clutching to the truth with their lives, they will quickly walk away from it!
In many ways, people today are just like Pilate, either skeptical about the very idea of truth or resistant to its demands. Jesus came as light to the world but some preferred the darkness. Though light comes as a friend it can feel like an intruder. Light disturbs, it irritates, and it makes us blink. Light reveals darkness, that’s why people often conceal it. Light is bright, that’s why people turn their eyes away from it. Like light, truth stings, offends, and exposes error, that’s why people resist and hate it.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-21).
A skeptic challenged me once by mocking my claims about Jesus and truth: “All of you ignorant Christians act like you are the only ones that know the truth.
I responded: “We actually do, Jesus is the truth.”
Like Pilate, this made no sense to the skeptic because he was blind to the truth, though he had healthy eyes to see.
How many times have you heard strangers, friends, or family members reject, mock, ridicule, and deny Jesus? The sad part is that those who do such things know absolutely nothing about Jesus. They do so because they are not of the truth. They can’t hear Jesus’ voice because they are blind to the truth. “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:47).
When a man is blind, in a way, the world does not make sense to him. He cannot comprehend the reality around him. If he can’t see things he cannot process and analyze them. Realities like sunsets, waterfalls, and beauty are meaningless to him because he cannot relate to them. Similarly, if a man is spiritually blind, things of God will not make sense to him. He cannot grasp the concept of God’s truth because he is not of the truth. The human heart unwilling to submit to the truth will never know the truth. You will ONLY find the truth if you genuinely seek the truth.
History tells us that Pilate evidently never came to the knowledge of the truth. Eusebius, the historian and Bishop of Caesarea, records the fact that Pilate ultimately committed suicide sometime during the reign of the emperor Caligula—a sad ending and a reminder for everyone that ignoring the truth always leads to undesired consequences. You see, we generally think of truth as a concept or idea. It exists in our mind as a principle or a quality. The reality is that truth isn’t just an idea. It is a person, and that person has a name: Jesus.
That’s why the only way to really understand truth and apply it to your life is by having a real, live relationship with Jesus Christ because He is the truth. He doesn’t just proclaim the truth. He doesn’t just pretend to know and understand the truth. He is the truth.
How sad it is when people look but do not see. Pilate stared directly at Jesus, but because of his blindness, he could not see the king standing before him.
Pilate died in spiritual blindness, but the thief on the cross lived to be with Jesus on that crucifixion eve.
So, which are you: Pilate, or the thief on the cross?
“Denial is the way people handle what they cannot handle.
Shannon L. Alder
APOLOGETICS - ARTICLES AND INFORMATION
- What is Apologetics?
- The Lost Truth
- Logic & Reasoning
- Truth & Reality
- Does God Exist?
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Design Argument
- The Moral Argument
- Who is Jesus?
- Satan’s Wish!
- God’s Dilemma!
- Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
- Does God Answer Prayers?
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Was Noah's Flood Real?
- Are Miracles Possible?
- The Apostle Peter
- Does Archaeology Support The Bible?
- Science & The Bible
- How Can Jesus be the only Way to Heaven?
- Don’t All World Religions Teach the Same Thing?
- Undesigned Coincidences
- Are All Men Created Equal?
- Is the Bible Really the Word of God?
- Amazing Bible Facts
- The Blind Atheists
- Jesus Meets Einstein
- Did the Gospel Writers Tell the Truth?
- The Evolution Fairytale
- The Day Common Sense Died!
- The Philosophy of Jesus
- The Report (Part 1)
- The Report (Part 2)
- Are All Religions True?
- Are There Contradictions in the Bible?
- Are All Religions True?
- Why Does God Allow Evil & Suffering?
- Bible Prophecy
- New Age Christianity
- The Wager
- When God Cried
- What Happened to America?
- Don’t All Good People Go to Heaven?
- Jesus at the United Nations
- False Teachers
- The Conference
- Jesus & the Woman at the Well
- The Day You face God
- Was Jesus Really Crucified?
- The Blind & the King
- Is Jesus God?
- The Meaning of Life
- Hero & the Fake
- The Insanity of Pluralism
- Who is God?
- The Tree of Good & Evil
- The Confused Agnostic
- Lazarus Come Forth!
- When God Seems Silent
- Case #1101
- The Proposal
- The Prayer
- Roman Catholicism
- Jesus Meets the Pope
- First Century Jesus
- The Patterns of False Religions
- Timid Christianity
- The Foolishness of Life without God
- An American Thanksgiving
- An American Christmas
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