What Jesus Did! 'The Question of Irony and Grace' — John 18:38

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pilate said, "What is truth?" When Pilate said this, he went out to the Jewish leaders again. Pilate said to them, "I can find nothing to charge against this man."
— John 18:38
Illustration of John 18:38 — Pilate said, "What is truth?" When Pilate said this, he went out to the Jewish leaders again. Pilate said to them, "I can find nothing to charge against this man."

Key Thought

Pilate answers his own question: Jesus is not guilty of any crime. The whole proceedings are a great reminder of the travesty of justice and the loss of human decency and integrity. Jesus is delivered into the hands of those who hate him. The Messiah is convicted on trumped up charges in an illegal trial. Jesus is rejected by people crying for his death while trying not to defile themselves ceremonially. The true King is rejected by God's people as they cry out that they have no king but Caesar. People committed to righteousness put the Lord to death and set a murderous criminal free. So when you feel mistreated, please remember the Lord. Before you feel abandoned ... betrayed ... and unjustly punished, remember Jesus. Then understand that he went through what he faced so that you could know the truth and that truth could set you free! If you have Jesus, you have everything and no one can take him away from you. That's the truth!

Today's Prayer

Righteous and triumphant God, King of the nations, thank you for the triumph that is mine in Jesus. I know your truth is liberating. I know your truth is powerful. Please give me the courage to trust that Word and build my life upon it. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

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.) Then Pilate went back inside the palace. Pilate called Jesus to him. He asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus said, "Is that your own question, or did other people tell you about me?" Pilate said, "I am not a Jew! It was your own people and their leading priests that brought you before me. What have you done wrong?" Jesus said, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it belonged to this world, then my servants would fight so that I would not be given to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place." Pilate said, "So you are a king!" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. That is true. I was born for this: to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And every person that belongs to the truth listens to me." Pilate said, "What is truth?" When Pilate said this, he went out to the Jewish leaders again. Pilate said to them, "I can find nothing to charge against this man. But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to free this 'king of the Jews'?" They yelled back, "No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!" (Barabbas was a rebel.)

John 18:28-40

Related Scripture Readings

So Jesus said to the Jews that believed in him, "If you continue to obey my teaching, then you are truly my followers. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will make you free."

John 8:31-32

Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love—not death, not life, not angels or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from God's love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Make them ready for your service through your truth. Your teaching is truth. I have sent them into the world, the same as you sent me into the world. I am making myself ready to serve. I do this for them, so that they can truly be ready for your service.

John 17:17-19


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.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.