Truth

Sunrise over the fields in Southern Israel, near the city of Beer Sheva. (Photo: Edi Israel/Flash90)

‘The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.’- Winston Churchill

‘I have come to bear witness of the Truth.’- King of the Jews.

‘What is truth?’- Pontius Pilatus, Roman prefect of the Roman province of Judea.

When all the onion skins are finally peeled away, is truth left there to be seen- one truth for all? In the shifting history of human societies truth has been sought after by many philosophers and savants and religious figures throughout the ages, leaving vast libraries of conflicting opinions and conclusions. Some ideas have wrought havoc and misery, others periods of stability and relative felicity to humanity.

Great works of art and music have been created to express truth in beauty, and magnificent cathedrals, temples and mosques erected to ideas deemed as truth. Political systems have been raised upon varying philosophical ideas called true, some bringing enslavement and hopelessness to many, others greater degrees of freedom.

Of those who have introduced important or lasting ideas into the human experience and consciousness, there appears only one to have claimed “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” to the stated purpose of creating a state of love, freedom and abundant life for humanity. Unlike many perpetrators of ideas in history, his philosophy was not spread by coercion or violent conquest, but by his own very example of love, compassion, healing the afflicted and, above all, forgiveness. He sought neither material wealth nor personal gain, but rather laid down his own life for the sake of others, even for his enemies, conquering death itself. When standing before the representative of Rome, the greatest power on earth at the time, the King of the Jews, bound and captive, said, ‘For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I may bear witness to the truth’, to which Pilatus retorted, ‘What is truth?’

But peace has remained elusive, and fear remains. Peace would seem to be the highest priority in the human search for truth, but has remained either temporary or beyond the grasp of the human condition, judging by the almost continuous conflicts and wars throughout history to this day. The King of the Jews said also, ‘’Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’

Yeshua (Jesus) declared to those who would freely come to him, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It was a bold statement to make into a violent world of conflicting religious ideas and relative truths of dangerous powers, but one that has been accepted with gratitude by multiple millions since. His was a gift built upon an absolute standard for truth, given with no cost to those willing to accept it, with only one condition attached, that the recipient would faithfully love others “as I have loved you.” He meant that there is indeed truth, which is the reality of YHVH the Creator, and that our sin has separated us from Him to wander in confusion, but that he came to clear the way to reveal that reality to us, that we may actually know the truth, which would set us free. It would seem that if there is indeed an attainable truth for all worth grasping at, it is that. What would cause me to be so foolish as to refuse such a gift?