I could not believe the words I had just heard. Matthew,* one of the 3-year-old boys I was babysitting, had just told me that ladybugs turn into butterflies. Of course I knew that caterpillars are the only bugs that turn into butterflies, but Matthew didn’t. He believed something that wasn’t true. Suddenly I had a mission. I had to teach Matthew the truth.
I went to the library and looked up books on ladybugs, caterpillars, and butterflies. I drew pictures showing how a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and then turns into a butterfly. I looked for everything I could think of to show Matthew which bugs turn into butterflies and which bugs don’t.
The next time I babysat Matthew and his friends, I was prepared. I read them the books and showed them the pictures and answered their questions. Finally, after doing everything I could, I asked the boys and girls, “What does a caterpillar turn into?”
“Butterfly,” all the children said. “And what does a ladybug turn into?” I asked, pointing at the pictures.
“Nothing,” they answered. I was so proud of them for learning something new.
Then Matthew piped up with a very assured look on his face. “But sometimes ladybugs turn into butterflies.”
I was sad. After everything I had done to show Matthew the truth, he still believed a lie.
A long time ago Pilate, the governor of Judah, was talking to Jesus. The Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus and brought him to Pilate to be judged. The Jewish leaders had accused Jesus of pretending to be the king when He wasn’t. Caesar was king of Rome. “Are you a king?” Pilate asked Jesus. But Jesus didn’t answer Pilate’s question directly. Instead, Jesus said, “The reason I was born and came to earth is to tell people the truth” (see John 18:37).
When I read this, it made me happy. Jesus came to earth with a mission, to tell us the truth, and more important truth than which bugs turn into butterflies and which bugs don’t, he came to tell us the truth about who God is so we can live better lives and one day go live with Him in heaven. Pilate, however, was not happy with Jesus’ answer, “What is truth?” Then he walked out the door to talk to the Jewish leaders.
Pilate’s response surprised me. He had Jesus, the person who knows everything, right in front of him. He could have asked Jesus any question about anything, but instead he left the source of truth and went back out to talk to the Jewish leaders, who were telling him lies. Maybe Pilate wasn’t being serious, or maybe he didn’t believe Jesus, but the truth is he ended up siding with the liars and had Jesus killed.
Some people want to know the truth, and sadly, some people would sadly rather believe lies. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can know God without knowing Me” (see John 14:6). Jesus is doing everything He can to share the truth with us, much more than I did to teach Matthew the truth about ladybugs and butterflies. After Jesus shows us the truth, we decide whether we believe Him and learn from Him, or whether we walk away. I want to know the truth. How about you?
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