Will You Take The Stand?
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him." — John 18:35-38
The religious authorities handed Jesus over to the Roman authorities under accusations of high treason. And Pilate works to get to the heart of this matter with a very direct question, "Are you the King of Jews?"
And then, Pilate and Jesus have this remarkable conversation. Pilot doesn't want to be played by the Jewish religious authorities. He was well aware of how they operated. And he quickly realizes that Jesus had not conspired, trained, and prepared men for treasonous acts. The only thing he could possibly determine based on this line of questions is that Jesus was a teacher who challenged the Jews on matters of the truth. Thus, he concluded that he finds no "guilt" in him.
Keep in mind this is a potentially precarious political situation for Pilot. Capital crimes were a serious offense and needed to be handled expeditiously by Rome to keep the peace and people in line. But sentencing and crucifying an innocent Jew when millions were present for a festival was also a delicate matter that could result in unrest if the truth was not exposed. To top it off, Pilot doesn't want to be a pawn of the accusations by religious authorities. So, what does Pilate do? He exposes the truth. He walks out of the praetorium and declares to the spectators, "I find no guilt in him."
This is a calculated statement by Pilate. You notice that he never offers a verdict on the accusation of whether Jesus is or is not the self-proclaimed "King of Jews." He doesn't touch the originating accusation. Instead, he only declares that he finds him "not guilty," which was surgical positioning that would maintain order and not yield to religious manipulation.
Yet, within this declaration lies a profound irony. While Pilate may not acknowledge Jesus as the self-proclaimed "King of the Jews," the truth remains unchanged. Jesus is undeniably the King of the Jews because, as Jesus stated, his kingdom transcends earthly boundaries.
So here is the application.
Sometimes, the accusations and verdicts of the world are not going to align with God's Truth. Regardless of what these people say and how loud they say, we have to stand firm, trusting God's truth. And when the world questions us, interrogates us, ridicules us, and mocks us, we have to hold to the truth just like Jesus demonstrates for all to see here.
How can we, like Jesus, maintain our commitment to God's truth when faced with accusations and skepticism from the world, even if it means enduring ridicule or opposition?
In moments when societal judgments and verdicts don't align with God's truth, how can we find the strength and resilience to stand firm in our faith and convictions, trusting that His truth transcends earthly perceptions and opinions?
DO THIS: Stand for the truth today.
PRAY THIS: Lord, grant me the unwavering strength to hold onto your truth, even when the world questions and challenges it, and help me stand firm in my faith, trusting in your wisdom and guidance. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Stand.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.