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Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. Psalm 112:1

 

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king, in fact for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked? John 18:37-38

As a young convert, I have been troubled for a while by this short portion of the Gospel, which tells us of our Lord Jesus, being questioned by his judge, Pilate, during his unfair trial. This trial will lead our Lord to his sacrificial death which gives us eternal life. My questions were about Pilate’s question itself and the Lord’s silence.

When asking arrogantly that question to this young Jew, caught and led to him by the Pharisees, Pilate was not expecting any response, nor did he want to enter into a philosophical debate on the nature or concept of truth. He did not want any more to contest that Jesus was saying the truth when saying that he is a king. Every liar knows exactly that truth is, because he is exactly doing or saying the contrary of it.

Pilate was just showing how truth was totally inadequate and unworthy in this trial, in his court. Truth did not matter—just as justice didn’t. Pilate was denying any role to the truth there, as it had no place in this kingdom of darkness.

Knowingly, he was defying Jesus, the incarnated truth and innocence, who was standing before him. Pilate was demonstrating how much he and his master, Satan, despise truth. (Matthew 27:19; Luke 23:13—16, 20, 22; John 14:6).

In this context, Pilate’s answer to Jesus makes sense: Is truth worthy here on earth, in this world, in this court? Truth doesn’t matter. You are probably right but what do you want me to do with that truth while I am facing that hysterical crowd, urging me to kill you? What about my career and position if I stand for you and the truth?

What lessons can we learn from that for the present day? Has the situation really changed? It seems that Pilate’s approach is all too often affirmed today, and that humanity is following Pilate’s steps. Lies become normative and truth a deviant behavior. There is not even a pretense of truth.

Truth, at best, is mitigated, adapted or softened, to a point that it becomes unnatural, even among Christians. What is left of truth if it is re-clothed, re-shaped to look more acceptable, politically or legally correct?

Lawyers are said to be professional liars, taking advantage from lies or silences, defending the richest against the poor, involving themselves in the mystery of iniquity that is now in the world, and leaving the court houses with a clear conscious having their role in the society.

How can we, as Christian lawyers, respond to the Biblical demand for truth, justice and equity in total accordance with our Lord Jesus, who came in flesh to testify to the truth? Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

There is a heavy price to be paid to the world and its power of darkness. Faithfulness to the truth may require sacrifices and courageous sufferings—but that truth is worthy and has its own eternal reward.

Serving and testifying of truth in our daily practice is for us a godly and spiritual duty, in order that this word would not be said about us:

“Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.”
Jeremiah 7:28

May God help us.

Michael Kokra
Cote d’Ivoire

– This article comes from AI’s “No Higher Calling,” a devotional for lawyers.

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