Two Kings

Two Kings

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent

Read: John 18:28-40
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. [29] So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” [30] They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” [31] Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” [32] This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

[33] So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” [34] Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” [35] Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” [36] 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.” [37] 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.” [38] 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. [39] But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” [40] They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. (ESV)

Jesus’s trial before Pilate is masterpiece. In this encounter, Jesus stands before the most one of the most important and powerful men in the world. Pilate represents the whole might and authority of the Roman Empire; what he says goes. It becomes clear very quickly, though, that for all of Pilate’s power, Jesus is the one in control of this exchange.

Pilate is interested in earthly kingdoms, Jesus in the heavenly kingdom of his Father. Pilate wants to know what truth, Jesus was standing right in front of him. Pilate wants a diplomatic solution, Jesus is going to provide eternal salvation. The might of Rome looks unimportant next to the King of kings. 

God, you all-powerful, eternal, and wise. The most powerful human being is nothing before you. Use this story to lower my estimation of humanity and raise my estimation of you. Help me to follow Jesus as my Lord, Savior, and King, to trust him and depend on him alone. Amen. 

Pilate doesn’t see anything to convict Jesus for; why does he bend to the crowd? What does Jesus mean when he says, “my kingdom is not of this world?” 

Who are some of the competing kings or rulers in your life? How have you been reminded of Jesus’s kingship lately?
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