Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
In the most infamous trial in history, Pilate asks Jesus: "Art thou the king of the Jews?" John 18:33-38 The question is recorded in all four of the gospels, and is certainly in character for Pilate in the Passover season. Messianic expectations ran high this time of year and if a counterfeit was going to manifest itself, this would be the time. (Hale-bott, Jim Jones) Pilate was in his element when he asked; almost flippant - but he couldn't have been prepared for the answer. "it is as you say" - Matt. 27:11.
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch: What was our Lord really asking in vs 34 = "Did you arrive at this on your own or did someone else tell you"? Was it a bitter dodge or something much deeper? "What kind of king did you have in mind? A Roman King? Jewish King? Political King? Spiritual King? and is there ultimately a difference?"
Nugget: Jesus wasn't evading the issue, but rather forcing Pilate to clarify for himself -- for his own sake, and by extension, you. In all actuality it wasn't Jesus on trial, but rather Pilate. We read the Bible, hop from church to church to judge this Jesus and find the one we like (till we don't) and all the while we are the ones being judged. - "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;" Heb. 2:2-3 Pilate called Jesus King at least four times.
Was he sarcastic? What about you? What placard have you put around Jesus' neck? Uncomfortable now, Pilate answers in 35: "Am I a Jew?" This is a common response or more accurately, excuse. "I'm not religious, so I'm immune". Not "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30 In vs 37, Jesus explains who He is, but Pilate didn't get it. Do you? "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." He was born = His humanity. He "came into the world" = His deity. He eternally existed - John 1:1, 9-10, 3:17, 19, 9:39, 10:36, 12:46, 16:28, and 17:18.
Jesus not only explains His origin, but His purpose as well - to proclaim God's Word. And here's the rub; All who are His will hear Him (accept/receive). John 10:27
Nugget. The issue then, is not whether or not God's Word is true or even believable, but rather are you His or not? 1st Cor. 1:18 Jesus asked the Roman guard (company) who arrested Him: "Whom seek ye?" He asked Peter: "Whom do you say that I am?" We think we spend a life asking Him questions when the only one that counts, He asks you today. God Bless.