June 17 - Truth and Jesus

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 17 – Truth and Jesus

Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

“If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:38-27)

Pilate and Jesus had a very interesting conversation here.  If Jesus claimed to be a king, Pilate was well within his rights to execute Jesus so as to protect the Emperor’s reign. 

Jesus doesn’t make any of this easy on Pilate, though.  When asked if He was king of the Jews, Jesus asks if someone had been setting Pilate up.  When Pilate asked what He had done … He claims to rule over the kingdom of another world.  When asked again if He is a king, He responds that He came to testify to the truth. 

I am never comfortable with evasive answers, though they are certainly fun to use as responses.  Pilate wasn’t terribly happy with these answers either.

Pilate wasn’t a stupid man.  He didn’t have a very powerful position, but He got there on His own and He was smart enough to recognize that he was in a no-win situation.  The Jews weren’t allowed to execute anyone – they were still under the laws of Rome and only Rome could take someone’s life.  Jesus had a large following and Pilate saw that this could rip apart the peaceful setting that he was enjoying. 

Jesus offered Pilate the same thing that He offers all of us – an opportunity to be transformed.  Notice the last line of this passage.  He brings truth and anyone who is on the side of truth will listen to Him.

Pilate is given one of two options: Jesus, which equals truth or not believing Jesus and accepting a false life.  Too bad we already know the end of the story.