My kingdom is not of this world.

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.

The courage of Christ and the cowardice of man is on full display in this gospel passage. The religious cowards will not execute religious justice because they are afraid of the Romans and Pilate will not release Jesus for fear of the Jews. It is a sad commentary on humanity. Yet in the midst of this craziness stands a sane and courageous one who will not capitulate to the demands of unscrupulous men. Jesus refuses to bow to them.

The dialog between Pilate and Jesus is so telling. Pilate is confused yet Jesus speaks with such clarity. Pilate speaks of earthly authority while Christ proclaims a greater kingdom and a heavenly authority. Pilate loudly challenges the kingship of Christ but the Lord seems to whisper when he says that he was born to bear witness to truth. Sadly, as many have done since that time, Pilate rejects Truth Incarnate - the divine one who stands before him.

I bow before you O Son of God. You are worthy. I am in awe of you!

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