Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus

Posted by Yong Joo Park on 14 May 2017 in John |

John 18:28 - 40

(Message)

The Jewish leaders told Pilate that Jesus was a criminal (30). Based on Pilate’s question “Are you the king of the Jews?” (33), we can know they accused Jesus being a king (Luke 23:2) who would be against Roman emperor (Caesar) that colonized them. To Pilate’s question (“Are you the king of the Jews?”), Jesus didn’t answer yes or no because Pilate was deluded by their accusation and mistakenly thinking Jesus as political king. So, Jesus answered to Pilate wisely as below in verse 34.

34 ‘Is that your own idea,’ Jesus asked, ‘or did others talk to you about me?’

His answer (‘Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?’) helped Pilate realize his thought (political king) was superficially based on what others said (king or Messiah).

Now Pilate was ready to listen to Jesus directly. See v35.

35 ‘Am I a Jew?’ Pilate replied. ‘Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?’

Now Jesus gave him His answer to his initial inquiry about ‘king’ in v36.

36 Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.’

Jesus indirectly told him He was the king but He made it clear that He was not a political king, because His kingdom was not of this world. His kingdom is one from another place, that is, the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.

What is response of Pilate? See v37a.

‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate.

What is answer of Jesus? See v37b.

Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king.

Again, Jesus didn’t say yes or no. Pilate might still misunderstand His kingship. Differently to the worldly kings, Jesus is the king who is humble and gentle. People surrender to Him from the bottom of their heart because of His irresistible love of God. He is Servant King. He is Friend King. He is Shepherd King.

“You say that I am a king,” which Dodd reshaped and interpreted as “king is your word, not mine.” [1]

See v37c.

‘In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.

Jesus helped Pilate know more about His kingship. At the same time, Jesus answered his 2nd question (‘What is it you have done?’ (35)). The mission of Jesus was to testify to the truth. That’s what Jesus had been doing.

See v37d.

‘Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’

Jesus used expression for Pilate easy to understand. Jesus made it clear that He was not a political king. People in His kingdom are people on the side of truth. Pilate could stand and live on the side of truth without leaving Roman Empire.

See v38a.

‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate.

For Pilate, that question was an attempt to resist taking Jesus’ statement seriously in his own life, but it did make an initial impact on his view of Jesus during this first interrogation session [1].

Finally, let’s read v37d together.

“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Amen.

References

[1] Borchert, G. L. (2002). John 12–21 (Vol. 25B, p. 242 - 243). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition., Jn 18:28–40). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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