"For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world-to bear witness to the truth." John 18:37b (ESV)
Pilate wants to know if Jesus is a threatening king. Jesus is telling him something about kings and about truth. True kings are witnesses to eternal truth. Jesus is The True King. In stating his purpose to Pilate, Jesus is offering this political imposter an opportunity to move from the world of make-believe power into a kingdom based on the rock of eternal truth.
Pilate, like many today, scorns the idea of a singular truth. "What is truth?" he asks. Isn't truth whatever is right for me? Who is to say that anyone has the one and only truth? Different cultures have adopted truths for themselves and each one is as valid as the other, right? There are many teachers who are sincere and have taught many concepts of truth - how can we know which one is right? Does it matter? What is "right" anyway?
Jesus made his claim: "I am the truth." Either he is or he is not. What could he have meant by that bold declaration? Truth is simply the way things really are. God, as revealed in Christ, is truth. He was in existence before anything. He is ultimate reality. Before material, thoughts, and ideas, he was. All creation came from him. It all conforms to reality as defined by him. He is truth about everything. Even after sin corrupted the creation, he defines the purpose of history through the redemptive plan of revealing his Son. Since God is ultimate truth (reality), he tells the truth about everything. When he speaks, he uncovers the truth about God, man, sin, salvation, purpose, and meaning. He cannot speak deception since his very nature is truth.
When Jesus told Pilate that his purpose was to bear witness to the truth, he was declaring that he was accurately expressing the nature of God on earth through his human body. He was saying that, contrary to depraved human minds trying to justify their deviation from truth, there is a truth about everything, and he is a viable witness. There is no need for contemporary Christians to be embarrassed that Jesus said he alone is truth. If he isn't, we have no hope. Of course he is truth. He is the Son of God. He is not saying that others have not known some truth, but he is saying that he alone is the embodiment of eternal God in human form. When he speaks, he speaks truth. Those who want to live in reality must hear and believe him. Those who choose to pick and choose their reality will live in degrees of deception.
We can live in truth. Jesus said that knowing the truth would liberate us. It is our only hope. We live in a world that has been infected by deception. In this darkness many are claiming there is no final reality. But there is hope in Christ. He has sent his Spirit to guide us into all truth as he makes him known to us. Now we can be witnesses to the truth. This is not an optional luxury for the over zealous radicals. This is the way of life God has designed. We are so blessed to have access to truth. We must not ignore it.