Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. –John 18: 37-38
Much of what Jesus said in the first part of the verse probably escaped Pilate. I am quite certain that he had no idea what Jesus was talking about when He mentioned the purpose of His birth. But when Jesus mentioned the truth, something inside Pilate’s head made him turn around.
Pilate was probably the most important historical figure of his time to ever had the opportunity to ask Jesus the most important question that philosophers and thinkers were dying to ask: What is truth? The problem was that he never took another minute to wait for the answer. He simply walked away and busied himself with the most pressing issue at hand.
What would he have learned? If he listened, would he have believed? I know we are a few centuries late to ask that question.
The point is that there really are times when men completely miss the opportunity to stumble over a treasure because they simply don’t stick around a little while longer.