This is the sermon for Wednesday March 31st2010.

John part 80

Not of this world.

John 18:33-40.

John 18:33-40 HCSB – 33 Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?” 35 “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?” 36 “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.” 37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” 38 “What is truth?” said Pilate. After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging Him. 39 You have a custom that I release one [prisoner] to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

INTRODUCTION

Last time we looked into Jesus’ publicly going before Pilate.  Now, Jesus will have a private audience with Him.  Here in this private interrogation, Jesus will reveal a central truth about the Kingdom He rules:  His Kingdom is not of this world.

We also see the total rejection of Jesus by the Jews.  They want a sinner to be released, instead of the sinless One – Jesus.

As we live in this world, we must remember that we belong to Christ and His Kingdom.  So whether the world rejects us or accepts us – it doesn’t matter; we’ve been redeemed by Jesus Christ.  He has accepted us and forgiven us.

Let’s begin to unpack the text this tonight.

Pilate’s question.

John 18:33 HCSB – Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

Why did Pilate ask if Jesus is the King of the Jews?  Well, that is one of the accusations brought to Pilate when Jesus is brought before Him.

Luke 23:1-2 HCSB – 1 Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.”

So Pilate had to pursue this line of questioning.  Pilate, as governor of Judea had to protect Roman authority and rule and stop all insurrectionists that raised up against Caesar and Rome.  He had to determine if Jesus was a threat or not.

Jesus questions Pilate.

John 18:34 HCSB – Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?”

Why did Jesus ask Pilate this question?  Perhaps He wanted to know if Pilate really wanted to know personally, or was he asking just some type of political question.  I believe by Jesus asking this question He is getting to the heart of the matter.  He would have never been brought to Pilate if the Jewish leadership would have received Him, but their hearts are hard and full of sin.

Pilate’s sarcastic response.

John 18:35 HCSB – “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?”

Pilate must have gotten offended by Jesus’ question, notice how He said, “I am not a Jew, am I?” He reveals here that he is not the one who had Jesus arrested and brought to trial, but the Jews and their chief priests.  Pilate wonders what Jesus could have done to anger them so.

Jesus reveals the nature of His kingdom.

John 18:36 HCSB – “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.”

Jesus does not deny that He is a king, but He is a king of a kingdom that is not of this world and neither is it defined by this world.  His kingdom citizens do not fight and respond the way a worldly kingdom and its citizens do.

As disciples of Christ, our citizenship is based on our new birth, not some natural one.  We do not respond and fight like citizens of earthly kingdoms when we are attacked.  We respond, not with riots and weapons, but on our knees.  Our qualifications as citizens of God’s kingdom are found in Christ.

Colossians 1:12-13 HCSB – 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.

A discussion concerning truth.

John 18:37-38a HCSB – 37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” 38 “What is truth?” said Pilate.

Pilate seeks clarification: “You are a king then?” Jesus clarifies, “You say that I am a king. I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Jesus reveals the greatest truth of all.  He is a king and those of the truth listen to His voice.  Jesus did not enter this world to give some type of political speech and testimony – but to testify to the truth.

Pilate’s responds with a glib question, “What is truth?”

Many today ask this question thinking that truth is in the eye of the beholder; in reality Jesus is truth; all other paths are lies.

Pilate wants to release Jesus; the Jews want Him dead.

John 18:38b-40 HCSB – 38 After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging Him. 39 You have a custom that I release one [prisoner] to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Pilate says an amazing statement: “I find no guilt in Him” (ESV). It should have been over right there.  Pilate tries to pacify the Jews by having them choose between someone he has declared “not guilty” – Jesus, and a guilty person – Barabbas.  The Jews choose Barabbas.

CONCLUSION

As we conclude, are there any principles we can learn from this passage?

Principle:

  • The kingdom we belong too the world does not understand.
  • In fact, the world hates Christ and His kingdom.
  • We must continue to bear witness of the truth of Jesus Christ, no matter the consequences.

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