Jesus’ Trial before Pilate John 18:28-38a // Matt 27:1-2, 11-14 // Mark 15:1-5 // Luke 23:1-5

28Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover.29So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?”

30“We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted.

31“Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them.

“Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied.32(This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die.)

33Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.

34Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”

35“Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”

36Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

37Pilate said, “So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

38“What is truth?” Pilate asked.

This is an amazing little passage that says so much but we can miss it so easily. 

First, note that no one accuses Jesus of any crime at all.  Pilate asked the Priests for a charge, and none was given.  He then asked Jesus a different question.  He didn’t ask Jesus, “what is your crime?”  He asked Jesus, “are you the King of the Jews?”  Notice that the chief priests didn’t say anything about that to Pilate.  Where did Pilate get that idea from?  Had he heard about Jesus before this?  Was it something he simply recognized?  

Jesus then answers Pilate with even more information.  He clearly claims to be a king, but not of this world.  What does this mean?  Well, for you and me it means that if we want Jesus to be our king, we must not be “of this world”.  We live with a purpose and life that extends beyond this life.  If we spend our lives worried about this life in this world, Jesus is not our king.

Then Jesus states his purpose: to testify to the truth.  Not only that, but he also states that all who love the truth will see the truth that Jesus is testifying to.  Jesus is not someone afraid of thoughtful consideration and investigation.  He is all for it.  Christianity is not the blind following of foolish stories but the true, logical, and obvious end to the open-minded pursuit of the truth.  “Follow the truth, wherever it leads you”, and you will end up in heaven.

Lord, open my mind and heart to your truth.  Help me to know you and pursue your ways every moment of every day.  *obbs*