Have you ever been falsely accused? Have you ever been judged prematurely or misunderstood? Today, we are going to study how one man, Jesus, faced these accusations with grace and love. Let’s see what we can learn that will help us to follow Him more deeply. Go ahead and read John 18:28-40.
We learn from verse 28 that Jesus had His first hearing which lasted throughout the night. He was then taken to the Roman governor. Look at verse 31 to see why. Hatred causes people to react harshly and unfairly. Vile ugliness spews out of hearts that are bent on hatred.
QUESTION: How are we seeing this in light of the events of 2020?
We also learn from verse 28 how religious Jesus’ accusers were. Passover was taking place and they didn’t want to defile themselves. How ironic, isn’t it? They were in hot pursuit of killing an innocent man yet they didn’t want to defile themselves.
Sin has penetrated every crevice of this world. Which means sin has corrupted every heart that is born in this world. We are in dire need of a Savior.
Pilate asks on what charges is this man standing before me. “He’s a criminal!” they retorted.
QUESTION: How did Pilate respond; see verse 31? What was His accusers response back and why?
Pilate wasn’t getting anywhere with these so-called religious people so He asked for Jesus to be brought before Him. He had a private meeting with Him. I am sure Pilate was puzzled over the fact that the Jewish religious leaders were handing over one of their own to the Romans. Jews hated the Romans. Romans were known to be very harsh and this is what Jesus haters wanted for Him.
Remember back in John 4:22 where Jesus said, “for salvation comes through the Jews.” God had a plan.
We see Pilate asking Jesus if He was the kings of the Jews.
QUESTION: What was Jesus’ reply?
Like Pilate, we would be wise to remember that Jesus is God. He knows all things. So, when He questions Pilate, He does so for Pilate’s benefit. When He leads us, He directs us for our benefit for He knows more about our hearts and motives than we do.
Notice how Pilate responds to Jesus’ question. He was sarcastic. He really didn’t care who was standing in front of him. He was the governor who had a job to do. So, Pilate continued probing into why this man was standing before him. “What have you done?”
QUESTION: What did Jesus say to Pilate, see verse 36?
Jesus reveals that He has a Kingdom. One that is far greater than any earthly kingdom. If Jesus was from the earth, like one of us, then His followers would fight for Him.
But God held them back for God had a plan. His plan was to save man from sin. He sent His Son to earth to become our Savior.
“But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
QUESTION: If Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world, what should our lives look like when we follow Him?
We can see how Pilate is in work-mode. Conduct business as usual. He asks Jesus, “So, you are a king?” He isn’t interested in seeing beyond his daily routine. I wonder what He told his wife when he went home for the evening. “Honey, I had to listen to the weirdest case today. This guy was brought in who didn’t really do anything wrong but people insisted on his arrest. Whatever he did, he made people quite irate.”
QUESTION: We all are busy with our daily schedules. If Jesus stood before you in the middle of your day, would you notice Him?
My friends, He is standing before you. He is wanting you to notice Him. He wants to talk with you and share what He has for you. Are you willing to listen? What is stopping you? Talk to God about it.
QUESTION: How did Jesus respond to Pilate’s question, see verse 37?
Jesus couldn’t explain Himself any more simpler. He says He is a king. Don’t you wish He would have said that He is The King? This shows how Jesus didn’t step over the boundaries of what God was telling Him to do. He patiently laid out God’s will with precise timing. This also shows that He is authentic and trustworthy. We can trust Him.
QUESTION: From Jesus’ response, He came into the world to do what?
“All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
ADDED INSIGHT: Look at 1 John 4:4-6. How do these verses help in understanding Jesus’ words to Pilate?
Pilate reveals his lack of understanding, “What is truth?” He remains in a worldly mindset. Truth was standing right before him and chose to not see.
QUESTION: After asking this question, what did Pilate do next to reveal his choice; see verses 38-39?
Look at our last verse to study. We see hatred continuing to spew from dark hearts. This world sits in darkness. We continue to see dark times, don’t we? Every generation is dark. But hallelujah, God sent His Son to diffuse the darkness! His Light has shown forth throughout the generations. We are to keep it going in our lifetime.
The question that needs to be asked, are you willing to recognize who is standing before you? Are you willing to listen and follow? Or will you be like Pilate and walk around Jesus and continue living the way you want to live?
Standing before you is The Key that will change your life. When we follow Jesus, He unlocks the treasures of heaven and gives them to you so you can experience abundant living. He wants to rock your world so you can rock the world around you! Let’s be light-bearers during this dark time where hatred and falsehoods are spewing out everywhere.