Jesus, as King, entered this world to testify to the truth. Jesus, as the Word made flesh, came into this world to reveal the glory of the Father, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus was that through him grace and truth have come (John 1:17). Jesus spoke of himself as “the way, the truth, and the life.” As he stood before Pilate to be condemned to die he was revealing the truth—the gracious love of God who so loved the world that he gave his own Son as the Savior. Jesus, as the truth, is the only way to the Father.
“Testify” is legal, courtroom language, but Jesus is not taking the stand in his own defense. Rather, as he solemnly proclaims the truth, revealing the Father and his own kingship, roles are reversed. Pilate is the one accountable to Jesus, who is the truth. One day you will stand before that King.
“The place and calling of the Christian community in the world are determined by its differentness. As citizens not only of this world but also of Jesus’ kingdom, Christians are concerned with the struggle for justice and righteousness, even in the political and social sense of those words, and that not only for the benefit of the church but also for the well-being of the world. But the meaning of their existence as the church in the world does not lie there. The primary focus of their attention and message is otherwise. It is not found in what unites it with ‘the world’ but in what distinguishes it from the world. It is found in what Jesus now (v. 37) positively describes as the content of his kingship: testimony to the truth as he has heard and received it from the Father.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary, p. 595.)
(In preparation for the Wednesday evening Bible study and prayer time at Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC)