It’s all about “truth.” John is writing to those who have it, those who are walking in it, and his joy in hearing about it all. 3 John 1:3-4 says, “For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” John is really interested in the concept of “truth.” On his “Grace to You” website, John MacArthur talks about truth. He says, “Ask anyone today, ‘What is truth?’ and you’re sure to start an interesting conversation. Try it on a university campus and you’re likely to receive laughter, scorn, and derision. The concept of truth has clearly fallen on hard times, and the consequences of rejecting it are ravaging human society. So let’s go back to the starting point and answer the question: What is truth? One of the most profound and eternally significant questions in the Bible was posed by an unbeliever. Pilate—the man who handed Jesus over to be crucified—turned to Jesus in His final hour, and asked, ‘What is truth?’ It was a rhetorical question, a cynical response to what Jesus had just revealed: ‘I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.’ Two thousand years later, the whole world breathes Pilate’s cynicism. Some say truth is a power play, a metanarrative constructed by the elite for the purpose of controlling the ignorant masses. To some, truth is subjective, the individual world of preference and opinion. Others believe truth is a collective judgment, the product of cultural consensus, and still, others flatly deny the concept of truth altogether.”[1]

Well, what is truth? Truth is not pragmatism. Whatever works is true. It’s not whatever is understandable. People can manufacture lies that people can understand. It’s not what makes people feel good. In fact, sometimes the truth does just the opposite. It’s not what the majority of people say is right. History is full of examples where the majority was wrong. “The Greek word for ‘truth’ is aletheia, which literally means to ‘un-hide’ or ‘hiding nothing.’ It conveys the thought that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing being hidden or obscured. The Hebrew word for ‘truth’ is emeth, which means ‘firmness,’ ‘constancy’ and ‘duration.’ Such a definition implies an everlasting substance and something that can be relied upon.”[2] To me, and many other simple-minded people, truth is something that is in accord with reality.

Just before He stood before Pilate to be judged, Jesus told His disciples, “I am the truth.” What an incredible statement. Can a person be “the truth?” He could if He was indeed whom He claimed to be. He was to whom all judgment had been entrusted. While looking out over the Grand Canyon a man said, “I don’t like this ditch at all.” The guide answered, “the Grand Canyon is not on trial. You are.” Pilate and the Jewish religious leaders who brought dozens of lies and false charges against Jesus thought they were judging Him. In reality, Jesus was judging them. “Pilate evidently never came to a knowledge of the truth. Eusebius, the historian and Bishop of Caesarea, records the fact that Pilate ultimately committed suicide sometime during the reign of the emperor Caligula—a sad ending and a reminder for everyone that ignoring the truth always leads to undesired consequences.”