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Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/22/11 John 18:36-40 Truth for Convenience

36 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.”
37 “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.”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

(Pontius Pilate. Duccio di Buoninsegna)

Thoughts: Pilate had been in trouble at least twice and was on the edge of being recalled as governor.  He had brough pagan insignias into Jerusalem at night- and when people objected, he surrounded them with his soldiers and threatened to kill them.  They would not back down, so Pilate did.  Later he robbed the Temple treasury to pay for an acqueduct, Again when people objected, Pilate threatened, beat, and even killed some.  Now, Pilate was confronted with a real King of truth and justice. But He was too busy trying to save his own skin to be interested in truth or justice.  Many are like Pilate today- Machiavellian, manipulative, and utilitarian in our views- with the only real value being our survival.  But true survival is shown by the resurrected one- who is truth embodied.  If we tell the truth and leave the rest in God's hands, we will find more than survival. 

Prayer: Help me not to value my skin over truth, Lord.

Jhn Cavlin Abridged: Jesus says "My kingdom is not of this world" which admits He is a king, but is innocent of being in conflict with the political government or order.  Jesus says that He speaks the truth and was born to do so.  We should not have a problem trusting in Him as He speaks what is true since He is commissioned by God to do so.  In Pilate's asking, "What is truth" we see a disease common to all humans.  For though we are aware of our ignorance, few are willing to confess it; consequently, many reject true doctrine.  Then the Lord, blinds the proud but lifts up those who are willing to submit to Him. 

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