24 Hour Truth Challenge
Jesus is back in front of Pilate again. And Pilate's a fascinating character, and one of the reasons he's a fascinating character is because he clearly is fascinated with Jesus. You read the scripture; you look at how much time Pilate spends with Jesus. He spends a hundred times more time with Jesus than he actually has to. The reality is, is that I don't think any of us think that the outcome that Pilate selected for Jesus wasn't the outcome he intended before he even met Jesus. And so, the outcome didn't change even though he had all these interactions with Jesus. Pilate did probably exactly what he had decided to do even before he met Jesus, but he was fascinated with Jesus. He was curious about Jesus. Jesus perplexed him. Jesus confused him, and probably for a lot of reasons, probably from a lot of different perspectives. I think just from a human perspective, Jesus was a fascinating human being, but also from a perspective of conscience. I think that nobody was indifferent to Jesus. People tended to love him or hate him. There wasn't indifference. We don't see that in the scriptures. And so, I think that Pilate knew what he wanted to do, knew what he was going to do. But deep down, he didn't feel good about that. His conscience was needling him or whispering to him and saying, "Hit the brakes here, you might be making a mistake."
And so, he continues this conversation with Jesus partly out of sort of human curiosity and partly out of spiritual searching. He is searching. His questions are clearly of and from a person who is searching. And in this reading, he says to Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" The dialogue goes on and back and forth, and then Jesus says, "My kingship is not of this world. My kingship is not of this world." And so, Jesus is always pivoting back to one thing that he wants to remind us of and that is, there's another world, okay. In almost every parable, he pivots back to say, "Hey, this isn't the only life. There is life after death. This isn't the only world. There is another world." He says, "My kingship is not of this world, if my kingship were this world, my servants would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jews, but my kingship is not of this world." What else is he telling us? What is he telling Pilate? He's saying to Pilate, "Listen, my kingship is infinitely greater than your kingship, and the kingship of the next world is infinitely greater than the kingship of this world." And again, Pilate is perplexed that. He doesn't know what to do with that. So, he says to Jesus, "So you are a king." And his question clearly states, "All right. I'm confused."
So, then Jesus goes on to say, "For this, I was born and for this, I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth, hears my voice." It's one sentence, right? But there's so much there. What is it firstly? Purpose, purpose, purpose, purpose. Jesus is never confused about his purpose. Even when he's in agony in the garden, he isn't confused about his purpose. Great clarity around purpose. And he wants you to have clarity around purpose. He wants you to get clear about exactly what he's saying here. Jesus says, "For this, I was born and for this, I have come into the world.” What were you born for? What have you come into the world for? What is that central purpose in your life that God is calling you to? And of course, for Jesus, it was to bear witness to the truth. He goes on. He says, "Everyone who is of the truth, hears my voice." What does that mean? Everyone who is of the truth. Are you of the truth? Are you of the truth? Would you fall into that category? Would you be with Jesus or not with Jesus when Jesus is gathering up the people who are of the truth? And the reality is that many times in our lives where we have a very, very casual relationship with the truth. Even times when we don't lie, but we hold information back. Or we say nothing at all. Everyone who is of the truth.
And, of course, Pilate's response to this; one of the famous questions in the scriptures, one of the most famous questions in the history of the world, what is truth? And isn't that the question of our age as well? In a culture that is absolutely drowning in relativism, isn't that the question? What is truth? Just like so many things, right, you know it when you see it. And you know it when you're in it. And you know it when you're wandering from it. And you know it when you're completely straying from it or you're turning your back on it or you're betraying it. So, here's the challenge. 24 hours, just 24 hours, examine your relationship with truth. How truthful are you?