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Monday, November 21, 2011

Readings for Thursday November 17, John 18.28-40

John 18.28-40

28Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32(This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) 33Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. 39But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 40They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Thoughts:  This simply questions by Pilate seems to haunt all of history:  "What is truth?"  I think here in John's Gospel we are meant to ask that very question.  Is Jesus the truth or is he a fraud.  Is there truth in his words or are they the deliberations of a madman?  How will we respond to this Jesus who is equally before Pilate and us?   Pilate wants nothing to do with him, he is obviously more trouble than he's worth and so he will bypass the religious leaders and let the people have their way.  The problem is that like Peter, it seems the whole crowd has now come to deny this one they recently proclaimed as king.  Instead of Jesus, we would rather have Barabbas was a bandit. 
Questions:  What is your take on Pilate?  Do you think he was intrigued by Jesus or was he just not interested in what he saw as a squabble between folks he didn't really like anyways?

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