What is the Truth?

In both narratives, the protagonists Thomas Anderson and Saul of Tarsus were looking for the answer to the purpose of their life. This question can only be answered in reality and in truth. The essence and driving force of this question is the desire to know the truth, the true reality unobscured by constructed ideas, images and sensations. This is what drove both protagonists to go to such lengths to find the answer. This is the feeling at the back of their minds that there is something not right about the world that they know. They experienced it within themselves somehow but were not able to articulate or express it.

 

Returning to the real and historical narrative of Saul of Tarsus, his encounter and initiation into the world proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth was something that cannot be explained with words but completely answered the question burning within him. It fulfilled all that he was searching for and his whole being changed as recorded by his reaction and life after this experience. His reality changed. 

 

This is the same thing that we all seek as humans, to encounter the reality outside the constructed world of our own making, outside the mundane. We all have this feeling at the back of our minds. This is the reality, the world which Jesus of Nazareth came to proclaim. During the trial of Jesus by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, Jesus was accused of calling himself a king, who would be a political threat to Roman rule. The conversation between Jesus and Pontius is recorded as below:

 

Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Judeans?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Judean? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Judeans; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into this world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. (The New Testament, John 18:38)

 

The main declaration that Jesus of Nazareth made to Pontius Pilate at his trial was that he is in fact a king who has come to proclaim the truth about the world that he is the king and ruler of. This is the truth that we all instinctively seek deep in our souls, the unexplainable feeling at the back of our minds which expresses itself through questions such as “What is the point of my life?” 

 

Jesus also adds to this declaration that everyone who intensely searches for the truth (who is of the truth) will find the answer in what he has to say (hears my voice). If this search for the truth resonates in our souls, we should at least look into more of what Jesus of Nazareth has to say; discarding all prior prejudices and preconceived notions about the teaching and person of Jesus of Nazareth that we have received from our world. For Jesus of Nazareth to make such a declaration at the very face of death gives credibility to his words, that there might be something true in what he has to say.