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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Then the guards took Jesus from Caiaphas' house to the {Roman governor's} palace. It was early in the morning. The Jews there would not go inside the palace. They did not want to make themselves unclean, because they wanted to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate went outside to the Jews. He asked, "What do you say this man has done wrong?" The Jews answered, "He is a bad man. That is why we brought him to you." Pilate said to the Jews, "You Jews take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." The Jewish leaders answered, "But your law does not allow us to punish a person by killing him." (This happened so that what Jesus said about how he would die would be true.)
— John 18:28-32 NLT
Illustration of John 18:28-32 NLT — "But your law does not allow us to punish a person by killing him."

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 have a tendency to try to justify ourselves using legalistic maneuvering—i.e., "His accusers didn't go in themselves 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 are worried about the Passover and are 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 requests 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 heart!

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 have to try to justify myself by legalism. 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 so that I can wholly serve you with a pure heart and righteous life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 16:11-15
  • Luke 10:25-29
  • Mark 8:31

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

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.