John 18.37: For this reason I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.
Jesus tells us more than once why He has come into the world. For instance, in Luke 4 He uses Isaiah to tell us that He has come to declare the “year of the Lord’s favor.” Earlier in John’s Gospel, John tells us that Jesus came to save and not condemn the world.
In our text, Jesus tells us that He has come to bear witness to the truth. We find ourselves asking, like Pilate, “what is truth?” To what does Jesus witness? Some commentators tell us that Jesus is king, that his kingdom exists, that the answer to Pilate’s question is “yes,” as in “Yes, I am the king.” I wonder though if this is everything Jesus meant; the only thing to which He bears witness is that He is king. The problem here is that this seems to put Jesus in playing a game with Pilate based on different meanings of king. Is this what Jesus was doing hours before He died – playing word games with the procurator?
I think not.
Jesus has spent His ministry witnessing to something more expansive, something that required more public exposure than a private conversation with Pilate could provide. What is this truth to which Jesus bears witness?
John tells us in chapter 3 of his gospel that God loves you, that He gives both acceptance and freedom; that He offers – he wants – relief for you. Right now.
And it has always been so.
Jesus came to bear witness to the truth of Heaven’s reality, that there is a reality in which care, love, and acceptance is available for everyone. Jesus’ life bore witness to a reality that we cannot see but which we must see to live in it. Jesus bore witness to the truth as it really is, despite what it might look like with a king hanging on a cross.
It has always been so. It must have been for it to be truth.
God loves you and wants you back. He wants you not to possess you, but to bless you. Living His Life is the Life you were made to live. Now.
So much so, that He is willing to die for you.
On a cross.
And that’s the truth.