The above question was asked by Pilate as he was standing before Jesus. This same question is being asked by many today. We are at a time when “absolute truth” is being redefined into a new perceived reality. Man has been positioning himself as the world’s arbiter between right and wrong. The term “fake news” has gained traction due to the side-lining and removing of that which is True.
There is one chapter in God’s Word which brings these extreme contrasts into full view. An examination of John 8 provides key insights into both Truth and lies. Many Christians are familiar with the following verse:
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
Why is Truth proving to be elusive in the midst of our culture? One answer could be that people really do not want to know the Truth. Jesus said of Himself that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Little did Pilate know that he was standing before Truth when he asked that question. One of the key discoveries of John 8 is that we see God as the author of Truth through His Word (John 8:31). There is another featured character in this chapter who is able to provide insight concerning that which is untrue. (Lies)
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44).
It is also interesting to note that Pilate could not find any fault in Jesus. Why? He is the Truth! Of Satan, it says that there is no truth in him and that he does not stand in truth. He is known as the father of lies. The question we need to ask is, which of these two characters is governing our lives? We can ask the same question concerning our churches as well. Do we stand for Truth or do we stand for a perceived truth that has been redefined.
The origin of what we have come to know as “fake news” can be sourced back to the Garden of Eden. God spoke “Truth” regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Satan wasted little time in seeking to redefine God’s truth (Genesis 3:4-6). He took the opportunity to challenge the one law God had given to man. In addition, he sugar-coated and downplayed the consequence of sin. He did this by appealing to the emotions of Eve. He continues to do the same today by seeking to soften the absolute truths of God’s Word.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die (Genesis 3:4).
He successfully got Eve to rationalize God on man’s terms. “Surely, a loving God would never judge the act of partaking a piece of fruit so harshly.” He then added further fuel by redefining the truth of what God had said earlier concerning the forbidden tree.
For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate (Genesis 3:5-6).
Satan stripped away the consequence of sin while enchanting Eve with the promise of becoming like God. It gets even worse! That which was forbidden has now, all of a sudden, become desirable. Can you see what this looks like today? Sin is no longer taboo but rather something to indulge in and enjoy. Is it any wonder that Satan is called the father of lies?
The following questions need to be asked: Which of the two voices do we give allegiance too? Do we have a love for Truth? Are we willing to take a stand for Truth? The key is in our ability to “continue in His Word” (John 8:31). In doing so, we will know Truth and that same Truth will set us free. How do we respond to Truth when it confronts us? Let us learn from the example of King David who always opened his heart to the Lord, even after his sin with Bathsheba. His desire was to know Truth intimately. May the same be said of us.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. (Psalm 51:6)