March 6, 2011
In this passage of scripture Jesus has been brought before Pilate (the Roman governor) by Jewish religious leaders. Because of the Sabbath, the leaders can’t go into the palace to Pilate so he goes out to them and asks “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
They don’t spell out the specific charges but say he is a criminal which is why they have brought him to Pilate.
Pilate tells them to judge him by their law but they respond that they don’t have the right to execute anyone.
Pilate then goes back inside and summons who is now before him and asks him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answers Pilate with a question, (v 34) “Is that your own idea, or did others talk to you about me?” Jesus’ question highlights that salvation in Jesus Christ is not about the group, it is about you – what you think.
Pilate’s response is interesting. He sidesteps the question by asking another one, “Am I a Jew?” (v.35), and making a statement “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it that you have done?”
Jesus responds (v36), I am a king but my kingdom is not from here (this world). If it was I would have fought to prevent the Jews from arresting me. His disciples and even the angels would have helped him. “My kingdom is from another place” It is not about over-throwing you or the Jews is about establishing my kingdom – the Kingdom of God.
Pilate then says, “You are a king then!” Jesus answers, you are right in saying I am a king. In fact (v37), for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Pilate then asks the key question. “What is truth?”
A search of the dictionary provided two definitions
- “Truth is in accordance with facts or actualities.” For example, if I hit a drum it will make a sound, so I hit the drum and it makes a sound
- “A statement proven to be or accepted as truth.” This definition is problematic. For example truth is supposed to be established in court, but there is little truth in court. It is who argues the case better, wins. Truth is factual and actual and so we have people serving sentences for crimes they did not commit until exonerated by DNA evidence. Truth is not what you make it. Truth is actual and factual as God has said it.
Psalm 91:4 God’s truth is our protection – “Our Shield and Buckler.” It is in the knowing and obedience to God’s Word (Truth) that protection comes. For example, Proverbs tells us to be careful of the company we keep. If you follow God’s word when choosing your friends or when you are challenged to do wrong, obedience to Biblical truth will cause you to separate yourself, because you realize you are going in two different directions. We get into trouble because we don’t know or obey the truth of God’s word.
What are the benefits of truth? Freedom
John 8:31,32 – to those who believe and who abide in my teaching – rest in, stay in, obey the word of God, the truth will set you free.
If you want to know the truth how do we find it? The Bible.
How do we find the truth? Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
So if you are searching for the truth, find it in JESUS.