Truth is slippery. A lot more slippery than any of us want to admit. And we do have to in a sense, choose what to believe.
Pontius Pilate seemed quite comfortable with that. Jesus was talking truth and Pilate lived in a place of work where “truth” was meaningless; all that his employer cared about, was results.
The world’s vision of truth is attractive. It lets Pilate go back to his home at the end of the day. it lets the Priests deal with that “problematic man” while still being able to eat the Passover. It sends the crowds home from the protest hoping that the rebellion will start soon and be successful.
Pilate was dealing with those pesky Hebrews. The poor guy is the governor, and he can’t even get the latest group of complainers to come into his house, because it’s Passover, and that would make them “unclean,” and they wouldn’t be able to eat the sacred meal.
Imagine that? Being the governor, and having to go outside to hear the complaints of your subjects? Your subjects, whose “truth” meant that your palace was unclean?
You can understand why the guy got him a bit sour.
His employer just wanted the people under Pilate to behave — a pretty tall order among a people as fiercely independent as the Israelites. The Romans didn’t care all that much how order was maintained; they just wanted Pilate to “make it so.” Israel, after all, was a center of commerce, and disturbances there were inconvenient and expensive.
All of this left little time for Pilate to talk philosophy with this troublesome Jesus fellow. He needed results! “Truth” for Pilate meant keeping order, keeping peace, keeping his job. That’s what he chooses to believe in. Even so… he tried to give Jesus a fighting chance.
But the crowds? Well, they don’t cry out, “What is truth?” But they did choose what to believe.
Jesus has proclaimed a Kingdom of Truth — the truth that God’s will is realized when we live lives of compassion and healing. A truth that we are all loved by God and called to live this love out for one another. It’s a truth that has stood the world on end….
But the crowd decides instead to believe in the old standby. The sword.
Barabbas the thief, a violent man, the kind of guy useful to a revolution, is the one they cry out for. They want what they want… and aren’t that different from Rome or Pilate in this regard. They’ll trade truth for the hope of what they’ll see in terms of “results.”
And, we all too often, choose what to believe as well.
Repentance means “to turn” in the scriptures, to “turn” from. But it’s not easy!
And it doesn’t help that the words of our master — (who stands in passive protest against the established powers of the world as he answers Pilate), has had His words mangled and misinterpreted over and over again by those who, frankly, wanted Jesus to sound a little more like “them.”
The world teaches us its version of truth.
The world teaches us to think: ”It’s mine, I earned it.”
Jesus says, “It’s a gift, share.”
We learn to think, “They need to follow my rules.”
Jesus says, “The greatest rule is love.”
We learn to think, “I’ll give when my needs are met.”
Jesus says, “Think that way and you’ll always need more.”
We learn to think, ”Me first.”
Jesus says, “Be last.”
The world’s truth keeps you from ending up like Jesus; taking a cross for what IS truth.
Believing in something means acting and sacrificing for something. And what Jesus wants from us is not our dying, but rather that we live a life dying to ourselves. That we would understand that the way of God is beyond our way, the way of God is our call, and that the way of God is the path to freedom.
In the end, we have to choose what to believe in.
Fortunately for us, faith is also a gift, a gift God gives us. But that doesn’t mean living it doesn’t take some effort.
We are called to be light to this world. We are called to care. We are called to make the effort!
Let’s walk with our master. Let’s take the path of sacrifice, and let our lives reveal the joy of living God’s love for others.
And the world will see that what is truth? Is truth.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.