Jesus and Abundant Life
A Bible Study of the Gospel of John
Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection – John 18-20
The Cause of Christ – John 18
We have seen Jesus introduced as the word made flesh in the Prologue of this Gospels (John 1). Then we saw the 7 Signs Identifying Jesus as God in John 2-11. Next John was inspired to show us Jesus’ personally as He washed the disciples feet, shared His new commandment of loving like He loved, and then teaching them about the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Who would empower them to implement all that He had taught them. Now we will look at the passion and resurrection of Jesus (John 18-20).
The passion and resurrection of Jesus is the culmination of a three and a half year ministry and mission on earth. In truth, God’s gracious plan of salvation in Christ is something that He has planned from the foundation of the world (cf. Matthew 25:34; Hebrews 4:3; Revelation 13:8; 17:8). These chapters reveal the incredible cost our redemption was to Jesus. They reveal the extent of our Savior Jesus’ love for us. And they show the incredible power of God to reconcile us to Himself and defeat Satan and the last enemy, death. These are incredibly blessed words. We will need the Holy Spirit to open our mind and heart to fully grasp them. Make sure you pray before you continue.
In John 18 Jesus is taken into custody, brought before the high priest, and brought before Pilate. When Jesus is brought before Pilate He makes a statement to him about the cause or reason He came into the world. What Jesus says is very important for us to understand. Jesus came as a physician to treat the spiritually sick and dying (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17: Luke 5:31). Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus came to give His life a ransom for our sin (Mark 10:45). And, as the title of this study suggests, Jesus came to show and provide us with abundant life (John 10:10). But at the heart and root of what Jesus came to do is what Jesus came be. Being precedes doing.
What you are determines what you will do. Jesus told Pilate, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). The cause of Christ, the reason Jesus came, was to “bear witness to the truth.” What does that mean? Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Maybe you’re asking the same question? In this chapter we will consider the truth and Jesus.
The word “truth” occurs 962 times in 904 verses of the Bible. It’s an important word of God. In the New Testament the word “truth” (Greek aletheia) means that which is in accordance with fact, that which is dependable, or that which is disclosed and not hidden. Someone has said, “What you see is what you get.” Or, “It is what it is.” These are common expressions that something is true (even though we may not like it.) But we know from life that what you see is not always what you get. The “truth” about what something or someone actually is, is often quite different from what is presented. That is because in reality truth is often hidden or misrepresented.
Where can “truth” be found? It is found in God’s word (Psalm 119:142-160; John 17:17, 19). God’s truth is bound up in the Gospel (Galatians 2:5, 14). The Gospel tells us the truth about humanities sinful state and its need for a Savior. Jesus described himself as “the truth” (John 14:6) and He described the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17). Jesus is the culminating truth about how we can receive spiritual life and spend eternity with God. The Spirit of truth reveals such truth to us.
Jesus taught that the truth frees us (John 8:31-32). He taught that the truth is found in God’s word and sanctifies us or makes us suited for God’s use (John 17:17-19). Peter would later write that the truth purifies us (1 Peter 1:22). Paul would later write that the truth establishes us or puts us on steady stable ground (Ephesians 4:15).
It’s important that we respond to God’s truth in the right way. It’s wrong to try and alter God’s truth and make it into a lie (Romans 1:25). Instead we need to come to the truth of God and accept it (2 Timothy 3:7). Sinfulness is disobedience to the truth of God (Romans 2:8). It’s sinful to walk contrary to God’s truth (Galatians 2:14). We ought to love God’s truth and when we don’t it is sinful (2 Thessalonians 2:10). We ought to believe the truth of God and when we don’t it is sinful (2 Thessalonians 2:12). To live without God’s truth makes us destitute (1 Timothy 6:5). Some resist God’s truth to their own harm (2 Timothy 3:8). Some turn from the truth trusting in their own ideas (2 Timothy 4:4). When that happens people die spiritually.
How should we respond to God’s truth? Jesus said we should worship God in truth (John 4:23-24). When we look further into the New Testament we see we are called to come to the truth of God (1 Timothy 2:4), believe and know it (1 Timothy 4:3). We need to handle it accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). We need to obey God’s truth (1 Peter 1:22) and base our lives on it (2 Peter 1:12). We should take it to heart and speak it to others (Ephesians 4:25). We should declare God’s truth openly (Acts 26:25). We should walk in or live by the truth of God (3 John 3-4).
Something is false that is not true. Deception is presenting something as truthful when it is really something else. Lies are speaking falsehoods. No one likes to be fooled by false truth. Relationships are based on truth. When someone lies to us it betrays our trust in them and it causes emotional and relational fracturing.
Relativism is not true. We are living in a time when the prevalent world view is relativism. Relativism is “the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.” Relativism is not true because it does not hold up to testing. “If what is true for me is that relativism is false, then is it true that relativism is false? If you say ‘no,’ then what is true for me is not true and relativism is false. But if you say ‘yes,’ then relativism is false. Relativism seems to defy the very nature of truth; namely, that truth is not self-contradictory.” 
Relativism leads to instability and uncertainty because “truth” is constantly changing with the whims of humanity. Relativism is akin to the way people lived during the time of the Judges; the low point of God’s people in history. During the times of the Judges it was said, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). The time of the Judges was a very unstable and chaotic time. That is exactly what we see in the world today. The truth be told, relativism is simply a means to ignore truth and do what you want when what you want to do goes against the truth.
Society would fall apart without absolute truths. If a red light didn’t always mean “stop” and a green light didn’t always mean “go,” then we literally wouldn’t know if we were coming or going. If there were not standards of being truthful nothing could be trusted. Without standards of being truthful when promoting products people would be unfairly taken advantage of (some say this does happen too often already). It’s important to know the truth about who people are, to properly and truthfully identify them in order to protect people from being victimized by those who have a history of criminal or dangerous behavior.
A legal system is based on people telling truth. It’s a crime to lie under oath in a courtroom. A witness who lies under oath is guilty of perjury. The truthfulness of witnesses is important so that the guilty are punished and the innocent are not. Truth is necessary for justice to occur.
To break the law is a kind of breaking truth. People use lies and deception to break the law. When the law is broken is leads to unrest. Laws based on lies are detrimental to the peace of the people they govern. That is why in the resolution of conflicts in court those who testify are required to swear an oath to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” (and they used to add, “so help me God”).
It’s important that media communications be based on truth. The media is (or should be) taken to task when it does not report events in a truthful way. Media reporting that is not truthful degenerates into propaganda and can’t be trusted.
A political system requires truth to last. When leaders lie to their constituency they are removed because trust in leadership is very important to know the truth about where resources are being used and how they are being used. People feel betrayed by politicians who promise the world during their campaigns for election only to deliver little to nothing once elected. The confidence in government is undermined when politicians manipulate, ignore, and bend the truth for their own purposes. In extreme cases the failure of the government to adhere to truth leads to revolution.
Betrayal is breaking truth in a relationship. History is filled with those who betray people and nations by betraying the truth. In a time of war truth is essential. Those who lie to their compatriots are usually determined to be traitors or cowards. Judas betrayed Jesus trust and truth in him and was entered by the devil. Benedict Arnold betrayed the truth and the trust General George Washington placed in him and almost stifled the American Revolution. During World War Two Tokyo Rose used lies and deceit to try and demoralize American soldiers. The Cambridge Five were spies for the Russians during the Cold War.
Lies are used to deceive and manipulate people. “The lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11), the first lie, was used by the serpent to deceive Eve and Adam into disobeying God. The consequence of that first lie was devastating; it led to the contamination of the entire human race with sin (Genesis 3). The serpent Satan used untrue false statements in order to bring Adam and Eve and humanity under his control. When untruth and lies are used to deceive and bring persons under the liar’s control in some way, Satan, the father of lies, and his demons are in some way involved.
We can deceive ourselves. Jeremiah was inspired to write, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Do you know the truth about yourself?
To deny God’s truth is to call Him a liar. When we say and accept things as true that are really contrary to God’s word we in effect accuse God of being a liar - “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:10). “He who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son” (1 John 5:10b). Are you calling God a liar by contradicting or denying His word of truth in some way?
People use lies to deceive and get an advantage over others. They use untruths or give false impressions in order to get use people for their own devices. In the Old Testament Delilah lured Samson to his demise using love in a deceptive way (Judges 13-16). Amnon, son of King David, lured his half sister Tamar into a compromising position and then raped her all by way of deception (2 Samuel 13). Judas betrayed Jesus with lies. Falsehoods destroy relationships. Relationships are built on truth.
Hypocrites present themselves as something that in truth, they are not. Our sinful nature is inclined to hide the truth about who we are. Ananias and Sapphira presented themselves as benevolent givers when in fact they were using their giving to manipulate the church. The Holy Spirit would have none of that and disciplined these two hypocrites with the cost of their lives to send a message to the fledgling church from the start; hypocrisy is not acceptable; live in truth (Acts 5). We all want to put our best foot forward but we cross the line when we say we are something that, if truth be told, we really are not. The truth is important. Falsehood breaks trust and makes building relationships impossible. Truth brings us together. Falsehoods separate us.
Sales people frequently sell you things based on false presentations. Advertisements usually focus on the best quality of a product while distracting you from the truth about it. “’It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; but when he has gone his way, then he boasts” (Proverbs 20:14).
A heresy is a half-truth. Cults deal in partial truths. They lure their victims in with partial truth and then hold them in a web of falsehoods. Many people are deceived and devote their entire lives and all they own to cults based on half-truths and outright falsehoods. The truth is important. Truth directs us to the way to eternal life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Jesus.
Satan is the father of falsehoods, untruth and lies (John 8:44). Whenever we lie or are deceived we can be sure that Satan and his demons are in some way involved. Our mandate as believers is to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus said, “Your word [God’s word] is truth” (John 17:17). We need to be people of God’s word who stick close to and live within the truth-full parameters of His word.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus was and is the embodiment of truth. Everything about Jesus is truthful; full of truth. Jesus reveals truth and wherever He is the truth, or lack thereof, is exposed. The Gospel of John is a revelation about the truth of Jesus: He is God; He is the solution to humanities sin problem; He is the way to live, the truth about God, and the Source of eternal life, abundant life. If you want to know the truth about anything you have to look to Jesus.
So far in John’s gospel we have seen Jesus reveal many truths. Some of these truths are:
That Jesus is the Word made flesh; God – John 1:1-2 and 14
That Jesus is the Creator of the universe – John 1:3
That Jesus is the source of life – John 1:4
That Jesus came to His own but His own rejected Him – John 1:10-12
That those who received Jesus by faith are children of God - John 1:12
That Jesus came to take away the sins of the world – John 1:29
That Jesus said a person must be spiritually born (“born again”) in order to experience eternal life and spend eternity with Him in heaven – John 3
That Jesus gives us the water of everlasting life – John 4:13-14
That Jesus said we must worship God in spirit and truth – John 4:23-24
That Jesus has power to heal – John 4:46-54; 5:1-15; etc.
That faith in Jesus results in everlasting life not judgment – John 5:24
That everyone will be resurrected, some to eternal life, others to eternal damnation – John 5:29
That Jesus can defy nature; walk on water – John 6:15-21
That Jesus can provide for our needs, e.g. feeding thousands of people with morsels of food – John 6
That Jesus’ teachings are rejected by some – John 6:60
That Jesus will give the Holy Spirit to those who come to Him – John 7:37-39
That Jesus has the truth that can free us from our sins – John 8:31-36
That Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life to save the sheep – John 10
That Jesus came to give us an abundant life – John 10:10
That Jesus can raise the dead to life – John 11
That Jesus is worthy of worship – John 12
That Jesus was a servant – John 13
That Jesus gave us an example of love to follow – John 13:34-35
That Jesus would send the Helper; the Holy Spirit to help us live for Him – John 14-16
That Jesus prayed and we should too – John 17
That is only a short summary of the truth Jesus has already conveyed in this gospel. And these are life changing destiny altering truths.
The abundant life of Jesus is true; you can depend on it. The abundant life Jesus spoke of is one based on truth, births truth and breeds more truths about life and our existence. The more you live the truthful abundant life of Jesus, the more truth you learn and experience. That an abundant life is described and offered to those who believe and follow Jesus is an abundant truth. The abundant life is based on truth, filled with truth, and leads to more truth. The abundant life of God’s truth is the life God intended for His creation from the beginning. Tell the truth, are you living the abundant life of Christ?
There is more truth in John 18 and it is of a personal nature. Do you want to know the truth about yourself? Do you want to know the truth, period? In this chapter we will discover the truth about Jesus and the truth about the people around Him. And you just might find the truth about you? the cause of Christ is to testify to God’s truth. That is what we will see continued in this chapter.
John 18 (NKJV)
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that some people will use what they know to deceive and hurt others. Judas had apparently accompanied Jesus or at least knew Jesus often frequented Gethsemane to pray. Judas used this truth to work his plan of betrayal. Sometimes people will use what they know about you to hurt or betray you. Judas did this after the devil had entered him (John 13:2). When people lie, deceive and betray, they fall into a demonic trap. Like Judas they have opened themselves to such influence. And even though they might not be fully aware of how they are being manipulated, they are culpable and blameworthy because at some point they have chosen to disobey God’s word and the Lord Himself. That is the truth about betrayers.
4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that Jesus knows all things. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him. He held open the possibility for Judas to repent until the very end. But Judas followed through with his deception and betrayed Jesus. Jesus knew this would happen. He knew what was in Judas dark heart. Jesus knows what is in our heart. Jesus said elsewhere, “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light” (Mark 4:22). What does Jesus see when He looks into your heart; a Judas; a betrayer? What truth will He see about you?
5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that Jesus always tells the truth; even when it hurts. It’s true, sometimes the truth hurts. Telling the truth here would lead to Jesus’ arrest and ultimately His crucifixion. Not telling the truth was not an option for Jesus. Jesus was and is “the truth.” Jesus will tell us the truth even when it may hurt our feelings. That is because the only way we can be all He purposes us to be is to live by His truth. It is a lie and falsehood to think living by anything other than God’s truth can fulfill and satisfy us.
6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
The cause of Christ was to reveal that the truth is powerful. Jesus now speaks another “I am” statement. Jesus tells the truth that He is who they are looking for. And as He speaks His truth those there to arrest Him fell to the ground. The truth is powerful when it is spoken. Jesus could have blown His arresters away with a word. But that would not have been in accord with the truth of His redemptive mission.
Whenever the truth is brought into a conversation it is powerful. God’s truth is powerful. God’s truth cuts through human and demonic deception. People may not let on that the truth spoken has hit them like a ton of bricks. But you can be sure that when you speak the truth of God’s word to someone living a lie, the impact is powerfully life changing.
Gods’ truth can knock us down and if we surrender to it and its Author, it can straighten us out. Have you submitted to the truth of Jesus?
7 Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that Jesus doesn’t lose anyone. This is the fourth time Jesus in some way mentions that not losing His followers: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39); “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28); “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12). Jesus alludes to Judas in this last verse. Jesus didn’t “lose” Judas. Judas betrayed and chose to leave Jesus. Jesus does not force anyone to follow or obey Him. A person, such as Judas, can walk away from Jesus. Examples of this are found in the parable of the Sower (e.g. Mark 4:1-20).
But when a person chooses to leave or betray or reject Jesus they open themselves up to the influence of the devil and if you rebel against Jesus the devil will enter you (e.g. John 13:2; Luke 22:3; Eph. 4:27). Only the Holy Spirit and the Gospel of Jesus Christ can break the hold of Satan on a person (cf. John 16:8-11; Acts 26:18).
The scripture Jesus is referring to and that is also referenced by the Apostles regarding Judas (Acts 1:20f.), is Psalm 109:6-8 – “Set a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, and let another take his office.” Judas chose to betray and reject Jesus.
10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that neither violence nor self-preservation should impede the mission of Jesus. Peter drew his sword and struck out impulsively. He may have even had good motives. He may have acted in courage. Or he may have acted out of fear. Whatever motive or reason for Peter’s actions were, Jesus put the completion of His redemptive mission first. He also did not put self-preservation ahead of His mission. Jesus’ mission involved giving not protecting His life. And Jesus would let nothing get in the way of this mission.
12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that the religious rely on political expedience. As far as the religious rulers were concerned it was better that one man die than the rather than a larger conflict rise up. They were satisfied with their position of authority and rule over the people. They were satisfied to work within the confines of the Roman government. They didn’t want to rock the boat and jeopardize their privileged position. They were willing to sacrifice Jesus, a righteous and powerful teacher, if it meant they would hold onto their positions.
Are you willing to sacrifice relationships and people to get what you want? If you are, the truth is you’re acting very similar to the religious leaders who were willing to offer up Jesus and get rid of him for them to hold on to what they wanted.
15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that when you keep your distance from Jesus and warm yourself at the enemies’ fire you are setting yourself up to deny Christ. Peter kept his distance from Jesus. He got just close enough to see what was happening to Jesus. But when given the chance to stand with Jesus he denied he knew Jesus. Whenever you keep your distance from Jesus, whenever you try to follow Jesus only partially, you will eventually deny Him. You can’t follow Jesus in a lukewarm fashion (cf. Revelation 3:16). That’s the truth.
How close are you willing to get to Jesus? As close as possible or do you keep your distance in some areas and in some ways?
19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”
22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”
23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
The cause of Christ was to reveal that truth should be proclaimed openly even if it is rejected. Jesus was interrogated about His disciples and His doctrine. His testimony was that He spoke and taught the truth openly. He was struck in the face for His answer even though He said nothing that warranted such a response. Jesus set an example for us that we should speak out the truth and do so openly even if we receive a negative response.
Do you speak God’s truth openly? Do you cower in fear of a rejection or negative response to God’s truth?
24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not!”
26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that what Jesus prophecies will come to pass (and there are consequences for impulsive behavior). Jesus had predicted to Peter that Peter would deny Him three times (Matthew 26:34, 75; Mark 14:30, 72; Luke 22:34, 61; John 13:38). Jesus’ words are dependable. They tell us the truth about ourselves. Jesus words are reliable. That is the truth.
But we also see here that the sinful impulsive act of Peter came back to haunt him. The relative of the person Peter struck with the sword just happened to show up and identify Peter. That probably helped to rattle Peter and push him over the edge toward his third denial of Jesus. Acting impulsively is never a good choice. And impulsive actions usually end up having a negative impact on us.
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that religious people are selective about their sin. Religion is not the answer. The religious people broke many of their laws in arresting Jesus and bringing Him before their counsel at night. They relied on false witnesses. They did whatever they felt necessary to do away with Jesus. And yet they wouldn’t go into the Praetorium because they felt to do so would make them ritually unclean. They picked and chose what they wanted to observe and obey. That is the way of religion; you follow that which is comfortable or that which serves your purposes. Such behavior is false and untruthful.
Do you pick and chose parts of God’s word to obey or do you seek to live by all of God’s word?
29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.”
Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that sinful people will bear false witness to get their way. The religious leaders falsely accused Jesus of being an evildoer in order to justify themselves and do away with Jesus.
Are you willing to falsely accused people in order to get what you want; in order to get them out of your way?
33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You 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 fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that Jesus is a King whose rule is based on truth. The Kingdom of God is wherever God rules. Jesus said His kingdom was and is not of this world; it is not based on worldly sinful strategies. Jesus’ Kingdom is based on the truth that He is King. His followers or those who belong to His Kingdom hear His voice and follow Him. If you claim to be “of the truth” and a follower of Jesus, you will hear and live by His truth. Do you hear and accept the truth of Jesus as King? Have you submitted to His rule in your life?
38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. 39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
The cause of Christ was to reveal the truth that some people don’t really care about the truth but are only looking to diffuse what they perceive to be problems. To some people, like Pilate, the top priority is to maintain order and control in a situation. They don’t care much about what is right or wrong; they only care about not making waves and holding on to their position. This is the way of the coward. This is the way of faithlessness.
Do you shy away from the truth just to quell a storm? Are you willing to sacrifice truth for the sake of holding on to what you have?
We have learned about the love of Jesus; a new commandment to love like Jesus loved. But if we try to “love” separate from Gods’ truth or the way in truth He defines love, the result is weak sentimentality that more often than not condones or turns a blind eye to sin. Speaking truth without love, no matter how true the truth is, is counterproductive, harsh, ineffective and ungodly. Truth without love is harsh. Love without truth is weak. Truth spoken in love is powerful; that’s the combination Jesus us calls us to.