“Be A Citizen Of Jesus’ Kingdom By Being On The Side Of Truth!”(Jn.18:33-38).
“When Jesus was brought before Pilate, he asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered him with derision, “Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about it?” Pilate replied Jesus, “…It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
So far – according to John – from the arrest of Jesus to when he was brought before Pilate, there was no accusation that he claimed to be king. Why then is it that Pilate’s first question to Jesus was to know if he was the king of the Jews?
Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea, as such he was representing Caesar. As a governor of the Roman empire, he had a duty to clamp down on any rebel group that tried to rise up against Roman occupation.
It is true that the Jews were longing for the day when one of theirs would rise up and lead them against those who subjugated them. But as is always the case, even today, the elitist corp amongst them were not enthusiastic about such an uprising that would rock the boat of their comfortable zone! If Jesus’ elitist people accused him, it means his own people saw him as a revolutionarist leader. And if that was the case he was an enemy of the Roman empire.
Pilate was walking a tight rope! He was bent on freeing Jesus because he found no basis for a charge against him, but they cried out,“If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar”(Jn.19:12).
But why was Pilate so relaxed and comfortable to the point of wanting to free Jesus; despite the fact that Jesus was somehow rude to him? The answer is in Jesus’ response,“My kingdom is not of this world…my kingdom is from another place” By this answer it was evident to Pilate that Jesus was not a political threat to the Roman empire. A king whose kingdom was not of this world was a lunatic imagining utopic things for himself! Such a lunatic did not pose any real threat; neither to Pilate, Caesar nor the Roman empire!
Ignorant minds could not understand this truth! When Pilate replied Jesus, “You are a king, then!”, Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, 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.” This response must have irked Pilate who asked,“What is truth?”
Jesus left the question floating. Biblical teaching lets us know that “truth is lofty” because “God is truth!”
The truth is that the grave could not hold Jesus captive. He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven where he is having the highest place of honour far above that of Pilate, Caesar and any other title, then or now! Jesus is Lord and reigns supreme.
If you are on the side of truth, then listen to him! Truth alone prevails! We are on the Lord’s side when we stand for truth. May the Holy Spirit lead us daily to be citizens of Jesus’ kingdom as we stand on the side of truth!
Prayer: Holy Spirit help us to be on the side of truth and listen to the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.