[Good Questions] What is Truth?

Writer: Rev. James Hung

<Truth Monthly> publishes articles based on the truth, yet people may ask, “What is truth?” Now, let’s take a close look here.

Rulers and religious people didn’t reason with the truth.

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate, the Governor who judged Jesus, had also asked this question. The Bible records that Pilate returned to the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born, and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.” (John 18:33-38). niv

The Bible also records, “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.”(Matthew 26:59-60) Even Pilate, the Governor who last judged Jesus, had testified three times, “…I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty.” He wanted to release Jesus. Yet, the loud voices of the Jews prevailed, and he granted them their demand. (Luke 23:22) The rulers and religious people at that time did not reason with truth. They sentenced Jesus to death and crucified Him. Likewise, many people today do not know that Jesus is the Truth and reject Him. How dreadful it is!

Truth is true

The word “truth” means “true, truthful.” In the conversation between Jesus and Pilate, He told us that His kingdom does not belong to this world and that He is King of the Jews. He is, indeed. At that time, all the Jews were waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Prophet Micah (740 – 700BC) prophesied, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers to join the Israelites.” (Micah 5:2-3) Jesus has fulfilled that prophecy and was born in Bethlehem. Remember the magi from the east who came to worship Jesus after He was born?

The Bible says, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2) From His birth to ascension, Jesus had fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies about Him (there are over three hundred prophecies about Jesus ) For instance, Prophet Isaiah prophesied that when Jesus came, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:5-6) When Jesus came out to preach, He performed one surpassing wonder after another to show that He was the Christ Savior who was to come and that He was the King of the Jews whom they were expecting.

When Jesus talked about things concerning man with His disciples, “…Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray Me.” John 13:21. And Judas betrayed Him soon after that. There are many other examples which show that what Jesus says are true. Jesus told Pilate, “I came into the world to testify to the truth.” What He said and did were true, not just false reasons. If not, there wouldn’t be over twenty thousand million people trusting Jesus as their personal Savior today (including the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox). Even the Muslims, more than ten thousand million in number, also honor Jesus as Prophet.

The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). He is the only way that leads thousands and thousands of people to God. He has told the man what the Truth is and even gives him a new life. All these are what Christians can experience in person. Jesus had once challenged those Jews who opposed Him. He said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17). When one seeks to obey God’s will, he will come to know that Jesus is indeed the Truth.


Truth is trustworthy

The Christian faith endures because what the Bible records is trustworthy. Despite all sorts of criticisms, efforts to discredit the trustworthiness of the Bible or questions of the timeliness and relevance of Biblical teachings, the Bible can stand tests today.

The world-renowned archeologist William Foxwell Albright remarked, “The historical records in the Bible are accurate, able to stand criticisms from any scholars of the present age, making all opposing arguments faulty.” Authoritative archeologist Dr. Nelson Glueck said, “I can say with certainty that none of the archaeological discoveries have contradicted biblical documents. The accuracy of the historical records in the Bible is unparalleled, especially when archaeological evidence can confirm it.”

Millar Burrows, an archaeologist at Yale University, said, “On the whole, archaeological discoveries have undoubtedly confirmed the reliability of the Bible. Many archaeologists have made themselves aware of the Bible because of their excavations in Palestine. The awe of the Bible has greatly increased.” (Related examples can be found on the website http:// www.answersingenesis.org/zh/articles/nab/does-archaeology-support-the-bible) All these explain that the Bible is trustworthy!


Truth is right

Christians consider the Bible the supreme standard for man’s faith and morals. Tens of thousands of people who have read the Bible agree that the moral standard in the Bible is the highest. Why? Because the teachings of the Bible are correct, and truth includes the meaning of being right. Truth is not twisted thinking, and it is accurate everywhere. The Bible points out the transgressions and sins of man. We all know that in Western countries, whether it’s their laws, judicial systems, or many criteria for rights and wrongs, they are built upon the Bible. Jesus’ teachings are perfect and right; all those who received His teachings are entirely convinced.

Jesus does not judge according to the flesh; He feels the heart. For instance, He said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28). He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come–sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Dear friends, the Bible introduces Jesus as the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and His kingdom is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17). When Jesus spoke to the people, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) When we are willing to confess our sins and repent, and admit He is the Lord and follow Him, He has promised us abundant and eternal life! Are you ready to follow Jesus- the Way, the Truth and the Life – and to be His disciples?


Writer: Rev. James Hung, former Director-General of VCCSTM; present Director-General (duty) of IFSTM