I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Pontius Pilate. At least the way scripture portrays him. He seems a bit like someone who mostly wanted to do the right thing but who was simply afraid of what others might do or think. This is understandable given his situation with not very nice superiors and the Jewish leaders’ ability to manipulate his fear of those superiors. He was face to face with Truth, but the implications were too much for him to bare, so he chose what he chose.
I have been there. There have been times when I’ve known truth and what God required of me but was too afraid of something or another to act on it. There was a time once when, faced with temptation, I literally spoke out loud, “I know you’re Lord, but not right now,” and then preceded to give in to the temptation. I have, like Pilate, an uncanny ability to look Truth in the eyes and say, “What is truth?”
Equally uncanny has been my ability to forget the grace I have received and pummel people with truth when they step out of line with it. I can be a real jerk when I’m right about something. Probably that belies a certain insecurity with the question, “what is truth?” What if I am wrong? Then all the bluster and self-righteousness are for nothing. That would be intolerable. I’ll have to shut down the opposition.
By God’s grace, I’ve (mostly) outgrown those tendencies at this point. What’s helped tremendously is the fascinating fact that truth is a person, namely Jesus Christ. He’s taught me in His dealing with my own doubts and insecurities how to deal with other people’s. Truth doesn’t change or show partiality; it’s simply always true! And those who are of the truth will eventually hear what Jesus is saying. I don’t need to bully them into it.
And I will eventually listen to Him, too. No matter how many times I throw up the smoke screen question of “what is truth?,” He always answers the same way and He just looks at me with those eyes of fire. “What is truth” is the wrong question, after all. Who is truth? That’s the question to ask, and He has a way of calming all the storm inside so I can finally hear His voice.