“What’s Wrong With This Picture”
John 18:28-38 What is truth?
Verse 28 is a single paragraph in my Bible. What a convoluted mess this verse displays. Let me take you through the things that seem off to me in this verse.
1. “they led Jesus” – __________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” (vs 23). Why does our world today strike Jesus? I know that the fingers get pointed at us and the world rarely delves into the words of Jesus to try and understand the message of the gospel. In the same context Jesus identified this problem of His day in chapter 10: “Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, ‘How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.’” (vs. 24-27) The world wants to lead so God must be eliminated.
2. “But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled” – Would you rather look good or would you rather be good? ____________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________ 3. “but that they might eat the Passover” – _______________________________________________
Verses 29-32 bring Pilate into the scene. His initial question is not answered. ___________________
___________________________________________________________________________________ So his response puts the issue back on them: “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.”
Still the Jews don’t state the charge but they are quick to state the punishment they desire: “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” Suddenly they are so worried about being lawful. Everything they have done relative to Jesus arrest and the accusations before the High Priest have been violations of their own law.
3. Let me make one point here in the midst of this conversation. The Jews came to the Praetorium which the NIV translated “the palace of the Roman Governor”. This is a government building, in this case, probably a government complex. __________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________ Verses 33 – 38 go to the heart of this gospel. After Pilate has the discussion with the Jews he comes back inside the Praetorium and asks Him if He is the King of the Jews. _________________________
1. I think this idea is what frames Pilates question in verse 35, “What have You done?” __________
__________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Jesus answer is the heart of the gospel of John. The Lord spoke of it in chapter 3: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (vs. 3) “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (vs. 5) Pilate cannot understand these words on Jesus Kingdom since he has not been born from above. The same is true for the religious Jews. So the answer, which wasn’t direct leaves Pilate in confusion and he asks in a more direct manner, “Are You a king then?” (vs. 37) Jesus answer is the dividing line in our world today, “that I should bear witness of the truth.” And we are left with Pilates question: “What is truth”. Until we are born from above we will ask this question, avoid this question and continually redefine what we think truth might be. But Jesus is the truth that sets us free.
Pilate returns to the Jews and would close the matter if he could: “I find no fault in Him at all.” This is a peace offering that the Jews cannot accept.
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