John 18:33-38 – “Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this, I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” NASB
The question of Pilate and the response of Jesus is intriguing. Pilate asked Him a political question, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered with a question that should resonate with each of us, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”
It would seem that Pilate was asking a question that would facilitate his justification for consenting to the request of the Jewish leaders to crucify Jesus. If Jesus responded in the affirmative Pilate could label him an insurrectionist and accuse Him of treason, a justification for crucifixion.
Jesus did not fall for the bait but turned the tables on Pilate and asked a question of heart, not hearsay. The question for us should be and is, “Is what we are professing something we have heard from others or what we have determined in our hearts as truth through study and experience?” Mama and Papa’s religion would get us into heaven.
Jesus did not totally refuse to answer the question and in a very real sense did answer it clearly saying, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Simply, “Pilate, I am not a political threat to your rule, authority, or Rome although I may be a threat to your ideology and philosophy because my Kingdom will transform the heart.”
I gave the Roy Beaird translation there but I believe you can grasp the meaning and message of Jesus. Jesus, even acknowledged that He was truly a king but not an earthly one. His response confused and conflicted the non-believing Pilate and the question of Pilate is one that still rings through the ages, “What Is Truth?” In other places and other ways, Jesus answered that question as well for He is “THE TRUTH” and He is “THE WAY” and “THE LIFE.”
I have never been one that wanted to base my life or hope on what someone else thought but have always sought to know for myself or experience personally. That has brought me both joy and pain through the years and placed me in situations where I had to learn hard lessons. Lessons that could have been avoided had I not been driven to know personally and experientially.
I do not want to simply Hear About Jesus I want to Know Jesus personally, and I do. I do not what to Hear About God’s Truth, I want to Experience God’s Truth in my own heart, life, and mind. I want what comes out of my mount in my Profession of Faith to be something I know from my personal experience and study rather than simply reciting a Church Creed.
God bless you as you embark on this day’s leg of your life journey.