What is Truth?

What is Truth?

We live in a world that is very confusing and often misleading. So, “what is truth?” According to Wikipedia, “truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality. In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to represent reality or otherwise correspond to it, such as beliefs, propositions, and declarative sentences.

So, who can we trust to tell the truth: our teachers, our preachers, our bureaucrats, our politicians or our news and media persons? These are not easy questions with easy answers. And I dare say that many of us don’t believe any of the above mentioned are trustworthy these days. So, who can we trust?

Maybe that is the first step into discovering what is truth. We have to first put our trust in someone greater than ourselves. Someone we can trust to tell the truth. Perhaps President Dwight D. Eisenhower was on to something when he approved Public Law 84-140 back in 1957 that made “In God We Trust” the nation’s motto. Since then, it has appeared on all of our printed paper currency (it had already appeared on the two-cent coin in 1864, but Pub. L. 84-104 made it official).

In another era, a Roman governor in charge of Palestine also wanted to know “what is truth”. This is the question that Pilate asked Jesus as he stood on trial. Pilate had just questioned Jesus about being a king, to which Jesus replied, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37).

So, there you have it. If you want to know what is true, listen to Jesus. And what did Jesus say? Perhaps the most poignant conversation on truth was between Jesus and a Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus. It is recorded in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. I’m not going to recite the whole conversation in this article, but I do invite you to read it on your own in its entirety (John 3: 1-21). But I will point out that three times in that conversation Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.” Also, in that conversation Jesus told Nicodemus the role of each person in the Godhead – Father (vv. 16-18), Son (vv. 13-15), and Holy Spirit (vv. 5-8). If you want to know the truth, read John 3:1-21.

And finally, Jesus gives us this promise, “if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. (John 8:31-32)