What Is Truth?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 Chronicles 32-33; John 18:19-40

33 Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me?”

35 Pilate responded, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.”

37 “So you are a king?” Pilate said.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”

38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked.

Pilate asks a question at the end of the lesson, “What is truth?” All ways wanting to be helpful, I decided to seek an answer for him. Dictionary.com says truth is:

  • the quality or state of being true
  • that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality
  • a fact or belief that is accepted as true

Most of us know what the meaning of the word truth is. It is without falsehood. We know that truth and lies do not coexist. Or do they?

I came to a conclusion sometime back. One day I realized someone didn’t know the truth but truly believed they did. It was their perception of the truth. When they refused to accept the actual truth, I realized, perception trumps reality. Another way of saying it is, perception trumps truth.

A man believes because his boss is always pushing him to do more, to do better, that his boss doesn’t like him and wants to fire him. His reality, for better or worse is, his boss has it in for him and wants him gone. The flaw in that line of thought is, the boss knows the man is capable of better and capable of more. The boss pushes hard to help the man see he is only limited by the limitations he puts on himself.

In the crucifixion story, the people perceived the Pharisees had their best interests at the forefront of their minds and actions. In reality, the Pharisees were really only worried about the things that would benefit them. The Pharisees were more than happy to let the perception of the people remain regardless of the truth. Why? Because it served the Pharisee’s purpose. That would mean the people had a misguided perception and their spiritual leaders allowed them to continue with the wrong idea.

One more thing for Pilate. When Jesus stood before you, you had the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Messiah standing before you. The man who stood before you was more important than you or any of the rest of us and you missed it. And Pilate? That is not perception. That is truth.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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