As I was overseeing several small groups in my local church, I experienced a painful conflict with another leader, who ultimately left my team. While I needed to face my own failings, I later heard an incomplete version of what had gone wrong between the leader and myself from one of her group members. Truth had been lost in a shadow of accusations.

If our postmodern culture with its relativistic standards isn’t enough to leave us wondering where the truth can be found, difficult personal experiences may also leave us asking as Pilate did, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). A fascinating picture of the collision between the perspectives of heaven and earth, John 18 reveals the steadfastness of Jesus despite the political dealings and hidden, brutal agendas of people (John 18:28,30-32). But Christ knew what others couldn’t understand: He is King in a kingdom greater than what this earth can hold (John 18:36).

Jesus embodied the reality that truth isn’t defined by circumstances on earth but by God’s reality, His kingdom. Whether faced with the deep religious hypocrisy of the Pharisees or Pilate’s cynical detachment, Jesus’ responses mirrored what He had spoken to His disciples prior to His arrest: He would both speak and live according to the will of God the Father (John 12:49-50).

Face to face with Christ, both the Pharisees and Pilate walked away deceived by hearts unwilling to surrender to a truth greater than their own (John 18:35). We too are accountable for our encounter with the One who is the fulfillment of all our hearts long for. May we be lovers of truth who build our very lives on the reality of Jesus—the One who is Immanuel, God with us (John 18:37; Matthew 1:23).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Revelation 21:1-27