“Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!’” –Matthew 27:24
The Kingdom of God exhibits a very different set of values and ethos than the kingdoms of the world. The encounter with Pontius Pilate during Jesus’ trial makes this abundantly clear.
And that time, it appeared that the earthly kingdom, the Roman kingdom, was prevailing and another one seemed to be suppressed.
People followed Jesus because they thought He was going to free them from the suppression of Rome and when they found out that He was going to be silent and go to His own death, they stopped following Him.
Things are not Always as They Appear
“What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” –John 18:38-39
Pilate, the Jewish leaders, the crowd, even the followers of Jesus in their hushed, silent fear seemed to choose the strength of Rome. But Jesus and the nature of His Kingdom is not of this world – He said that very clearly.
It is the Kingdom within. Its riches, its spiritual power, and its glory is welling up from within. Jesus’ Kingdom need not to use force to maintain or advance its purpose and mission in the world.
And as a King, He conquers. And He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth. He rules by the commanding power of TRUTH.
Jesus is True Freedom
What is the truth? That’s the question our society often seeks and asks today.
As Jesus’ subject, we tend to the Truth and Jesus teaches us about His Kingdom in His Word. So as subjects of this King, how is our relationship with His Truth? Or why don’t we tend to the truth more passionately, more readily, more willingly?
And as we think more about it, there are two reasons why we don’t open our Bible and spend time with the Truth: lack of patience and lack of humility.
We operate in a day and age where we want to see immediate results and answers. And studying the Word of God and its Truth takes patience to sit for a while because He wants a relationship with us. He just doesn't want to transfer information to us, rather He wants to transform us.
Humility is another thing. When we read the Bible, we can either be inspired or be corrected. And it takes a receptive heart to receive the correction and allow it to change us, or a habit, an attitude.
So take a minute to think about this: isn’t it interesting how the trial of Jesus before Pilate shows up in our situation today?
And as we think about our circumstances, how would we complete this: it appears that…?
With whatever is going on around the world, now more than ever, people need to know the Truth. As believers, we need to show that we are not suppressed, rather it is our time to stand up and show to the world that the Truth is in Jesus.
Those who are not part of the church don’t read and open their Bibles. They look at us and see our lives. So let it stand as testimonies of God’s goodness.