What Jesus Did! 'Not Wanting To Be Defiled!' — John 18:28-32

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Jesus' trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn't go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, "What is your charge against this man?"

"We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he weren't a criminal!" they retorted.

"Then take him away and judge him by your own law," Pilate told them.

"Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone," the Jewish leaders replied. (This fulfilled Jesus' prediction about the way he would die.)

— John 18:28-32 NLT

Key Thought

Semantics and blind spots! These are two of the biggest problems religious people of every age have had. Rather than pursuing righteousness from the heart, we tend to try to justify ourselves using legalistic maneuvering — i.e., "His accusers didn't go inside because it would defile them, ..." In other words, they were asking for Jesus to be killed, but were also worried about being righteous by the letter of the law. They were worried about not being able to observe the Passover and were thus fulfilling God's plan that Jesus would be the Passover Lamb, sacrificed for his people's deliverance. While we can see the blind spots and the legalistic semantics of Jesus' opponents, can we see our own? One of the most important things we can ask of God is this: O Lord God, please reveal to me my spiritual blind spots so that my heart may be pure. A world of evil lurks in the hearts of men and women who seek to justify their religious actions rather than asking for God to reveal and to eradicate every evil thought and desire from their hearts!

Today's Prayer

God forgive me! I recognize that my own heart at times is so very deceitful. I want to be pure and not try to justify myself by legalism — or any other means. Cleanse me thoroughly by your Spirit as he does the work of transforming me to be more and more like Jesus. Help me see my blind spots and inconsistencies and overcome them so that I can wholly serve you with a pure heart and righteous life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Exodus 12:1-3, 12:11-15
  • Luke 10:25-29
  • Mark 8:31


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Illustration of John 18:28-32 NLT — "Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.