“WHAT IS TRUTH”?
(Pilate to Jesus, John 18:37-38)
Jesus taught “I am the way the truth and the life.”(John 14:6)
True justice cannot be achieved through words. Injustice comes from the failure of man to come to the knowledge of the truth, and then by faith to live by it.
Injustice occurs when the truth is denied. This happens because there are times when the cost of maintaining the truth is high and perceived not to be in keeping with self interest. Under these circumstances the truth is readily abandoned. This occurs among all people and is due to ignorance, indifference or the active defiance of the power and love of God.
Active injustice involves the accusers. The accusers deny the truth; they find blame in others, whilst blind to their own imperfections. Those who accuse others have God to answer to. Those who are the keepers of the Truth have God as their witness. The love of the truth is the love of God. The love of God always includes the love of others, even the unjust accusers.
God’s Church is universal. The truth applies to everyone and everything, all things belong to Him. God’s plan is to see us come closer to the knowledge of the truth, to come closer to Him, to accept His invitation of our own free will, without depersonalisation. God loves every person. The Father sent His Son so that the truth may be revealed to us in the world. The world however, does not want to know God’s Truth. The Christians therefore, though they are in the world, are set apart from it, for the world is subject to corruption whereas Christ is incorruptible. We therefore, the Christians, are dead to the world but alive in Christ.
Our lives are filled with fantasies and delusions about ourselves and others. Worldly preoccupation allows us to live so that we are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7)
The keepers of the Truth hear God’s Word. The saints hear God’s Word and live it to their death. They “are the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14) who are transported by the Angels to heaven to be with God.
No one should say they are keepers of the truth. God knows those who are faithful, they remain so until the end. Peter thought himself true and strong but denied Christ three times. He found the price of truth too high. Christ prayed that his faith should not fail him.
Truth is always and ever will be, but it cannot be known without faith. “Faith is the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1) and without faith it is impossible to please God.
Truth is life. Those things which are not united to God are subject to spiritual death. When we find truth difficult to accept, we go looking for other things to fill the void within us, we use words to camouflage what is fully known by God in our heart. If we are not true to our heart and God’s Word our life becomes barren. When we hear God’s Word it brings blessings, full purpose and focus to our life. It also brings with it good works and abundant fruit so that all things become profitable through God.
It is better to remain silent when it comes to our defence in the face of injustice. The way we live says much more about us than the words we use. Obedience demands silence. Obedience and love work hand in hand.
But it is better to speak up than to remain silent if the opportunity is presented to us to defend the faith, this requires courage and faith. “If the discussion and the question proposed is about the Faith and the traditions of our Church, then even the most meek and quiet and peace-loving person must fight and defend these matters.” (St Nikodemus the Hagiorite)
“One person and the truth consist of the majority.” (Abbot Sylvester the Hagiorite) Consider the lives of St Katherine and St Dimitrius who died for Christ and their powerful defence of faith before their accusers. Orthodoxy is truth, the living tradition, the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, though many do not want to hear her voice. They only hear their own voice or those who lead them astray so that they turn away from the truth. “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrines, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5)
Truth is victorious over every injustice. Truth is never in hiding. Truth reveals everything in time, all things being known to God and subject to His judgement. Man chooses darkness over light; Christ rescues us from the darkness into the light. Confession is the practice of this coming out of the darkness and into the light of Christ who never refuses us His mercy and forgiveness.
Jesus though innocent was put on trial. He came into the world to bear witness to the truth remaining silent before His accusers. Frustrated with His silence Pilate said to Jesus, “Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” (John 19:10)
Pilate did not know to whom he was speaking. For he had no idea that all power is given from above and the power of truth can never be overcome.
Pontius Pilate asked Jesus during His trial, “Are you a king then?” and Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” But Pilate did not know what Jesus was saying and asked Him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)
Fr Emmanuel Stamatiou