Jesus had little to say to the High Priest who first questioned him; he simply told him, “I have spoken openly to the world, I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple” [John 18 v.20]. Jesus is challenging them; if I have said things that are wrong, you produce witnesses to show this!
Ananias passes the problem on to Caiaphas, the High Priest. He in turn sends him to Pilate and the drama starts to reach its climax. When Pilate wants to know what he is accused of, they are evasive saying, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” [v.30]. They need Pilate to approve his death; we get the impression they would not stone him and risk the consequences, as they later did with Stephen.
Pilate questions Jesus again, “What have you done?” [v.35] Jesus responds, “ …my kingdom is not from this world” He means, this world cannot give him a Kingdom, his kingdom will not come as a result of human endeavours. Jesus further perplexes Pilate by saying, “I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.” Then he adds, “everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice?” [v.37]. What does he mean?
In chapter 17, we read the prayer of Jesus [v.1]. “Sanctify them (his true followers) in the truth; your word is truth … for their sake I consecrate myself, that they may be sanctified in truth.” [v.17,19] To sanctify means to be made holy, set apart from the rest – from those who do not want to make any commitment.
Only those interested in what is really true – listens – and act on what they hear. The world is full of half-truths and deceptions; this is evident most of all in politics. The message of Jesus is the only really important truth in the world! Pilate’s final question is – “What is truth?” [v.38]
We suspect this is asked in a sense of ridicule, but the context gives no clear clue. Given the machinations surrounding him, one can imagine an attitude of derision – nothing is really true, everyone puts their own spin on what they say! Do we really, from the depths of our heart, seek and believe the real truth? Jesus knows! The way we talk and act – proves whether we do.
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