Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ (John 18:33)
The Romans’ guards have recently captured Jesus. His dearest friends have vanished. He has been betrayed, denied, insulted, and framed. He knows that death is next. Even though it may have looked like everything was stacked against Jesus, looks can be deceiving.
When Pilate and Jesus met, it’s clear that Jesus had the power and that Pilate was a mere pawn to the fickle crowd and the desperate religious leaders. Pilate was on his heels before this half-naked and bloodied preacher.
When Pilate asks, “Are you the King of the Jews?” he wants to know if Jesus is a threat to King Caesar. Instead of answering Pilate’s question, Jesus just sidesteps him.
Again, Pilate asks if Jesus is a king, and Jesus replies, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (v.37). And then Pilate asks, “What is truth?”
Good question. What’s our truth? The truth that guides and motivates us? The truth upon which we stand? The truth we would be willing to die for?
Is Jesus our truth? Or is our truth some version of Pilate, who represents all the principalities and powers of this world?
Jesus didn’t flinch in his interview with Pilate because His work of reconciling us to God would have been aborted if He did. He didn’t flinch because He was faithful to God and because He loved us. He didn’t flinch because what could Pilate do other than take His life?
If Jesus is our truth, may we be encouraged to lean into and never flinch before any challenge or adversity? If Jesus is our truth, may we be encouraged to draw upon His strength so that we can live into our mission, just as He lived into His.
- What truths do you hold dear and stand upon?
- What truths have Jesus revealed to you about God and about yourself?
- The opposite of the truth is a lie. How have you ever lived with or under any lies? Have those lies ever led you into some dark places? How has Jesus helped you to turn from the lies to the truth—that truth that you are a child of God, that grace is abundant, and that you have a reason and purpose to live?