This is Episode #315 and today we’ll read John chapters 16-18 together. Pontius Pilate begs the question, “What is truth?”
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #315 and today we’ll read John chapters 16-18 together. Pontius Pilate begs the question, “What is truth?”
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
John Chapter 16
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
“Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
The Holy Spirit Will Speak What He Hears
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.
Sorrow Turned to Joy
“In a little while, you will no longer see me; again in a little while, you will see me.”
Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this he’s telling us: ‘In a little while, you will not see me; again in a little while, you will see me,’ and, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They said, “What is this he is saying, ‘In a little while’? We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, and so he said to them, “Are you asking one another about what I said, ‘In a little while, you will not see me; again in a little while, you will see me’? Truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world. So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you.
“In that day you will not ask me anything. Truly I tell you, anything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
Jesus the Victor
“I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
His disciples said, “Look, now you’re speaking plainly and not using any figurative language. Now we know that you know everything and don’t need anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
John Chapter 17
Jesus Prays for Himself
Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent — Jesus Christ. I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
“I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you, because I have given them the words you gave me. They have received them and have known for certain that I came from you. They have believed that you sent me.
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they are yours. Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine, and I am glorified in them. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
So That They May Have Joy
“Holy Father, protect them by your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I was protecting them by your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled. Now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in them. I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify myself for them, so that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
“I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the world’s foundation. Righteous Father, the world has not known you. However, I have known you, and they have known that you sent me. I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them.”
John Chapter 18
After Jesus had said these things, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas took a company of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Then Jesus, knowing everything that was about to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Who is it that you’re seeking?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.
“I am he,” Jesus told them.
Judas, who betrayed him, was also standing with them. When Jesus told them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.
Then he asked them again, “Who is it that you’re seeking?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
“I told you I am he,” Jesus replied. “So if you’re looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the words he had said: “I have not lost one of those you have given me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
At that, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Jesus Arrested and Taken to Annas
Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus and tied him up. First they led him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be better for one man to die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
Simon Peter was following Jesus, as was another disciple. That disciple was an acquaintance of the high priest; so he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?”
“I am not,” he said. Now the servants and the officials had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself.
Jesus before Annas
The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.
“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus answered him. “I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews gather, and I haven’t spoken anything in secret. Why do you question me? Question those who heard what I told them. Look, they know what I said.”
When he had said these things, one of the officials standing by slapped Jesus, saying, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
“If I have spoken wrongly,” Jesus answered him, “give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Twice More
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not.”
One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Peter denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.
Jesus before Pilate
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters themselves; otherwise they would be defiled and unable to eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered him, “If this man weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.”
Pilate told them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.”
“It’s not legal for us to put anyone to death,” the Jews declared. They said this so that Jesus’s words might be fulfilled indicating what kind of death he was going to die.
Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about me?”
“I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
“You are a king then?” Pilate asked.
“You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
“What is truth?” said Pilate.
Jesus or Barabbas
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging him. You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?”
They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.
Pontius Pilate found himself in a difficult situation. The Jews had handed Jesus over to him to be crucified for what they considered to be blasphemy. When questioned, Jesus tells him He has come into the world to testify to the truth. Pilate replies, “What is truth?” Another way Pilate could have said this was, “Whose truth are we referring to here?”
The Jews believed Jesus was a deceiver and wanted Him dead. That was their truth. Pilate knew that the Jews could be unruly, and he wanted to avoid a riot. That was his truth. Jesus was the only one in the crowd who was speaking genuine truth, that He is the Son of God. The way, the truth and the life.
Pilate and the Jews were not concerned with truth; they were concerned with protecting their personal interests in the world. Jesus was a threat to them and had to be eliminated. Given these so-called facts, Pilate’s statement “What is Truth?” is perhaps the most profound statement uttered by a non-believer in the Bible.
It is as relevant now as it was 2,000 years ago. We live in a time when we are taught that we each need to find our own truth, that truth is relative and changeable and dependent on the perspective of the individual. But Jesus tells us otherwise. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the Bible, Your guidebook to truth. Thank you for the example of Your son Jesus Christ, who never wavered from the truth, even when facing death. Keep us focused on Your truth no matter what the world throws at us, no matter what situations we find ourselves in. Amen.
Do you think Pilate came to believe in the truth of Jesus Christ? Share your thoughts with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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