Date: Friday, October 10
Scripture: John 18:28-38
Verse: “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. (John 18:37-38a)
Many of us believe lies about ourselves. When we were much younger, we may have been told by a person in authority that we were stupid, ugly, lazy, or some other unflattering thing. Some of those things may have sunk in, to the place where we began to believe them, and even operate under the assumption that this is who we are. Thankfully, many of us slowly learn about our unique giftedness, even finding out that many of those things we heard in adolescence are not true today, and probably weren’t true back then either. But on a bad day, all of that rational thought goes out the window, and we find ourselves feeling like that 9th grader hearing those things about ourselves one more time.
Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus is an interesting conversation. The one who looks like he has all the power as a leader within the Roman Empire, is questioning the one who has true power. Pilate’s task in this exchange is to see if Jesus is guilty of treason. So he asks about kingdoms and kingship. There seems to be something in the conversation though that causes Pilate to become introspective. He appears to drop his official line of questioning, and begins asking what is really on his heart. In the end, when Jesus says he has come to testify to the truth, Pilate mutters, “What is truth?” The irony is that Pilate is asking the Truth what truth is.
We don’t know what Pilate was wrestling with that day, but we know we sometimes struggle to believe the truth about ourselves. Maybe Jesus’ answers challenged his facade of power and leadership. We know his wife was trying to tell him to stay away from Jesus because he was a person of power, and maybe that confused him. Or maybe he just wanted to hear more of Jesus, longed to learn from him, but knew he couldn’t do that and keep his position in the Empire. Whatever it was, you can probably relate. If only he would have been able to hear what Jesus had to say about who he truly was in the eyes of God. I often have to remind myself that who I primarily am is a child of the God who loves me beyond my comprehension.
Prayer: Teach me, O God, the truth of who I am in you. Amen.
Action: Remind yourself throughout the day just how much God loves you.
Respond: When Pilate asks Jesus, “What is truth?,” what do you think is going through his mind? For what is he searching?
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