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John 18 - Truth Defined

The world can't handle truth, but you can fully depend on it.

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John 18 Summary

We've seen how John effectively uses so many different literary devices throughout his books in the Bible. A favorite theme for him in this gospel narrative has been to contrast light and darkness. John makes reference to that in a very subtle way in v3, describing how the detachment of soldiers were carrying not only weapons, but also "torches and lanterns." How ironic is it that the soldiers come stumbling through the dark night, led only by the dim light of torches and lanterns, in order to arrest the light of the world.

Yet this entire brute squad drops to the ground, stunned by Jesus answering their call with two simple words: I AM (v6). These simple words of course are the name that God gave Himself when He appeared to Moses way back in Exodus 3. Jesus very properly appropriates that name for Himself.

The Jews desperately want to kill Jesus, and although they've already tried a couple of times, this time they decide to try and get the occupying Romans to their dirty work for them. So after getting embarrassed by Jesus' replies, Caiaphas, the high priest, sends Jesus to face the highest Roman authority in the region, Pontius Pilate.

Dig Deeper

Pilate asks Jesus one of the most profound questions ever asked in v38:

What is truth?

This is actually the perfect question for Pilate to ask of Jesus, and John is the perfect gospel writer to record Pilate asking it. Look at this word search done using BibleGateway. The Bible uses the word 'truth' 137 times, and 42 of those times (31%) come in a book John wrote. It's very clear that one of John's purposes in writing a gospel narrative and three letters (not to mention the book of Revelation), is to answer Pilate's question.

The tragedy is that Pilate asks this massive question to the single most qualified man in all of history to answer it, and then Pilate turns his back on Jesus and walks out before Jesus can give him the answer.

Pilate's question is hugely relevant in today's culture. Most people today would state that there is no such thing as absolute truth, rather, each person defines truth in their own way. After reading all of the verses in John's gospel referring to the Truth using the BibleGateway link above, how would you respond to Pilate's important question?

You're likely reading this very close to Christmas. There's no better time to reflect on this question. Use the comment box below to share your response.

AAA Prayer :

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who has named Himself I AM (v5-6, Exodus 3:14)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to keep you firmly rooted in the Truth as presented in His Word.


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