In John 18:38 Pilate, responding the Jesus’ claim that “Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” asks “What is truth?”
I guess you could read his statement in a number of different ways. Maybe he is suffering some kind of existential malais and he really wants to know the answer. Is he pointing to relativism, that truth as a concept can only be experienced & determined by an individual, with reference to his or her particular circumstances?
I think Pilate might have had a bit of the latter floating around in his noggin, but mainly, I think he uttered these words as a dismissal. If he denies Jesus any any authority as a person, then Jesus’ perception of what truth is has no weight. What are the views of dirty carpenter’s son next to those of the ruler of the region? He can exit the discussion without having to really answer the question
Who is Jesus?
I think that maybe this mindset reflects how many interact with the question of Jesus in the 21st Century. By making a vaguely subjective claim we can free ourselves from having to actively engage with the question.
I guess it’s all part of the bigger question “why am I here?” Am I just a collection of carbon based molecules rotating around each other & following scientific laws for a 70 year period before the collection we choose to call “Tim” breaks down & the energy passess into other areas (feed the worms etc.)?
Is there no real rhyme or reason? I’m just an insignificant blip on an inconsequention planet next to the heart-stopping, mind-boggling enmormity of the universe? Should that cast into perspective all my worries? All OUR worries?
Or does that inbuilt sense that we’re actually about something bigger, and more important, point to the fact that there is purpose in my being, in fact, the one who gives all things being has a great purpose for my life!
What is truth?
I think there is an objective answer that made himself known most powerfully in the person & work of Christ!
But whether or not YOU believe that, I think we all need to ask the question, then we all have to work out, “do the decisions that I make & the way that I live accurately reflect my understanding of the world & my place in it?”