In the brief but significant conversation recorded between Jesus and Pontius Pilate, we read of Pilate asking Jesus, “Are you a king?” We can well imagine the sardonic grin planted on the face of this puppet in the hands of Caesar, inquiring into the kingship of this Jewish carpenter.
Jesus responded by questioning Pilate’s question, asking, in essence, “Are you asking this on your own or has someone else set you up?” This method of questioning the question was repeatedly used by Jesus with very good reason because it compelled the questioner to open up within his own assumptions.
Pilate was somewhat exasperated by this seeming insolence. “Look,” he answered, “I did not bring you here – your own people have done that.”
Then Jesus answered “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
Pilate said “Ah . . so you ARE a king!”
The response of Jesus discloses Pilates real predicament. He answers in the affirmative – “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
The answer was both subtle and daring. The fundamental problem Jesus was exposing to Pilate and to the rest of the world in not the rarity of available truth; it is more often the hypocrisy of our search. Truthfulness in the heart, said Jesus, precedes truth in the objective realm. Intent is prior to content! The most proactive statement Jesus made during that penetrating conversation was that the truthfulness or falsity of an individual’s heart was revealed by that persons response to HIM. The implication was uncompromising. He was, and is, the truth. What you do with Him reveals more about YOU than it does about HIM.
Pilate served as a perfect illustration of Jesus’ point. He muttered, “What is truth?” and never waited for an answer. I suspect he knew the answer but was a power-seeking slave to the system and to his own political ambition. Pilate really desired no solution – he merely sought an escape.
“Can Man Live Without God” by Ravi Zacharias