Text: John 18: 28-40
Text verse: John 18:37
In verse 28, John emphasises the fact that the Jews were not willing to go to Pilate’s home because they were afraid that they would become unclean. This would then mean that they could not eat the Passover meal.
This custom dictated that should a Jew entered a Gentile’s home, he would become “unclean” and therefore could not use Passover or enter a temple to worship.
Jesus repeatedly warned the Jews against this. They disregard God’s commandment for the sake of their age-old customs (also see Matt. 15: 3, 6; Mark 7: 8-9, 13).
In this passage, this irony also comes to the fore. Here the Jews are killing an innocent man even though they cannot bring a proper charge against Him (also see v. 30). On the one hand, they are willing to commit murder, but on the other, they are afraid to go into Pilate’s home because they do not want to become unclean.
This passage emphasises how far man’s sinful nature removes him from the truth.
As believers, we too often experience this struggle between truth and lies within ourselves. An example of this is when we exceed the speed limit. You know it’s wrong (truth), but you convince yourself that it’s alright because you urgently need to get to that meeting (lie).
Similarly, we know that it is not right to offer bribes (truth), but because we urgently need that approval, we pay a little something extra. Everyone does it anyway; or that’s the only way to get things done these days (lie).
Jesus teaches us in verse 37 that everyone who belongs to the truth will listen to Jesus. Their hearts will be open to this truth as they acknowledge Jesus’ kingship in their lives.
So, every time we still listen to the lie, it means that Jesus is not yet the king of our lives.
The reason we will acknowledge Him as King in every aspect of our lives is because He reveals the truth to us. The truth about His reliability and that He has our interests at heart.
See how reliable He is. He never gives up on us. Since we are not worthy to enter His kingdom due to our sins, He came to die for us. He cleanses us from all our transgressions through His blood. He is faithful until death. Nowhere on earth is there a king who is as reliable as He is. We can trust Him rather than pay that bribe.
Furthermore, He has our interests at heart. In fact, he puts our interests above his own. He becomes a human being. He was deprived of all his standing and was born in a stable. He is rejected by his own people. He is hung on a cross. This all so that we do not have to go through that embarrassment and humiliation and rejection.
In this way Jesus reveals the truth to us. We are not worthy, yet through His atonement He makes us worthy. Consequently, we do not need to gain respect in the eyes of men, for we are already children of God. We must dedicate our lives to Christ as He dedicates His life to us. Our salvation is in Him alone.
The more we understand his love, the more we will live in this truth.