Wrestling with Pilate’s Question

‘What is Truth?’

By Michael M. Barrick

As I read scripture this morning, this passage from the Gospel of John led me to conclude that my primary daily challenge is answering this question asked by Pilate of Jesus: “What is truth?”

Crucifix christoph-schmid-258813-unsplash

This is a question that I am forced to consider every day, not just on Good Friday. Whether reading scripture, writings from other faith traditions, a book, or simply trying to live by the Golden Rule, I find this question is one that is consistently spinning around in my head.

I do not intend to claim that, because I am a Christian, I hold all truths simply because I own a Bible. What I do mean is that we must learn from this question. We must acknowledge that this is the question at the root of most of our debates in our nation and world today.

It is good, I think, to acknowledge that my faith confuses and challenges me. It is necessary because I know I am not alone.

As for the conundrum Pilate faced – what to do with Jesus – I come across people daily who are asking that question. Heck, I ask it every day and I was immersed in religious instruction as a child attending Catholic school. I continue to learn all that I can about every Christian denomination and all other non-Christian faith traditions. Regardless of the tradition, answering the question, “What is truth,” is always the fundamental quest.

I’ve forgotten most of what the nuns taught me in the 1960s. But I have learned through experience that it is my actions, not my words, which will help others understand how I struggle with the challenge Pilate faced. It is good, I think, to acknowledge that my faith confuses and challenges me. It is necessary because I know I am not alone.

Indeed, how we answer that question just might decide the fate of all of humanity. People have been known to blow each other up quite regularly because they have come up with different answers to the question, “What is truth?”

I can speak only for myself, but it seems that killing one another over that question is exactly what Jesus was opposed to.

© Michael M. Barrick, 2018. Photo by Christoph Schmid on Unsplash 

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