November 24, 2012

Christ the King

John 18: 33b-37

The King of Truth

Jesus’ kingship is different than the kingship expected by the Jewish leaders or familiar to Pilate.

Jesus’ “own nation and the chief priests handed [Jesus] over to [Pilate]” because he did not meet their expectations.  Earlier in the Gospel of John, they had wanted to make him king after he multiplied the five loaves and two fish and fed them (Chapter 6). 

And once they have turned against him, he became a “criminal.”  When Pilate asked them of what they accused him of, without specifying the crime, they replied, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” (John 18: 29-30)

Pilate, a Roman, expected a different kind of a king, probably the type of oppressive Roman rulers that he is familiar with. In addition, the fact that the rulers handed Jesus over seems to suggest to Pilate that Jesus must have done something to cause his falling out of favor with his “own nation.” That is why he asked Jesus, “What have you done.”

Both Pilate and Jesus’ Jewish opponents limit their understanding of kings and kingdoms to worldly kings and kingdoms.

Jesus does not meet their worldly expectations.

On the contrary, Jesus’ kingship and kingdom, though in the world, are not of the world.

Are we willing to listen to the King who has come to testify to the truth, God’s truth?

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