“What is truth?”
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I Jew? Your own nation and chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38 English Standard Version).
After being baffled by Jesus’ words regarding his arrest and purpose on earth, Pontius Pilate gives a most interesting cynical response, “What is truth?” Even though this was to be a dismissive end to the conversation, it does leave you wondering why such a response?
Today, much like in Jesus’ day, the truth can be pretty hard to find. As a little kid in the 80s, during an assembly at my school I remember hearing an expert of technology saying that the coming era would usher in a struggle to find reliable information. The information age, as he spoke of it, would bring a time where there would be hundreds and thousands of television channels and computers would be everywhere all interconnected. Information and knowledge of the universe would double at a rate never imagined. And yet the struggle would be information reliability, or truth.
We are living in the information age. Due to the overabundance and ease of access to information, a common problem has arisen, reliability of the information. It seems that for every fact, there is a conflicting fact. If one is not careful, one can be left cynical, like Pilate, saying “What is truth?”
What is truth? where can it be found? Is it even important? In Lutheran education, the truth is vital to our existence. It is found in God’s word that we so often share in our classrooms. This truth should be the focus of our schools as they look to the future and their place in it. Since the days that Jesus walked on earth, many things have changed. People have come and gone and yet Isaiah reminds us that “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8 English Standard Version). It is on this word of God which Lutheran schools stand. God’s word is the center of what we teach. His word is the truth which is our foundation. In a world where truth is often hard to decipher, may we all listen to God’s word. Despite the many changes that face our Lutheran schools, may they continue to be rooted in God’s word which never fades and always provides truth for His people.