Title: Gospel of John [18:28-36]. Christ's trials, part 5. Before Pilate.
John series 1000, Pony, Julie
Third trial - a gathering of the Sanhedrin in the morning in order to officially resolve to bring Him to Pilate in the hope of achieving the death penalty.
The fourth trial: Before Pontius Pilate.
JOH 18:28 They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.
JOH 18:29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"
JOH 18:30 They answered and said to him, "If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you."
JOH 18:31 Pilate therefore said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law." The Jews said to him, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death,"
JOH 18:32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.
Christ must die by the hands of the Roman’s and be crucified.
Luke provides the particular accusation they bring after Pilate is not satisfied with their vague; we know He’s guilty accusation.
And they began to accuse Him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King."
JOH 18:33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
JOH 18:34 Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?"
Jesus asks this for Pilate's sake. “Have you found Me to be a criminal by your own investigation or are you just acting on behalf of the Jews? Wouldn’t that make you subordinate to them?”
In fact, by the end of this, Pilate will make himself subordinate to the Sanhedrin rather than justice.
Like the mob that arrested Him, like Annas, Caiaphas, the temple guard that beat and mocked Him, and now Pilate, Christ gave them pause by His perfect words and His majestic and divine behavior. Each time He does so for them that they may see Him for who He really is and not just what they have assumed Him to be.
Pilate loses this opportunity through aggravation.
Jesus' question is also designed to make Pilate think about what sort of king might the Jews be saying that He is. Is He the king of the Jews, of Israel, of Rome, or a spiritual king?
JOH 18:35 Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have You done?"
"This is my court. They brought you to me but I am not one of them. What do I care about their so-called Messiah. And if their Messiah did come, they say He will make them rule the world as us Roman's do now. If any man attempts that I will execute him. I don't care about Messiahs, I care about Rome, so since they brought you to me, and they say that you claim to be the king of the Jews, tell me what you have done that would be against Rome?"
Jesus now answers Pilate's initial question by speaking of His kingship in the affirmative but at the same time qualifying it in a sense that removes it from what Pilate had in mind.
JOH 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
This passage has been misunderstood in various ways. Jesus is by no means stating that His kingdom should fight against the kings of the earth. In fact, this never happens. When Christ returns at the second coming He alone fights the kings of the earth who are under the antichrist. We would not conclude that He had hoped that His servants had fought. Peter did and the Lord stopped Him.
The kings of the earth as well as the god of this world are defeated and dethroned by the sacrifice of our Lord and not fighting servants.
What He is saying is that "if" His kingdom were of this world then they would be worldly servants and Himself a worldly king. This is exactly what Pilate is trying to find out - if He is the worldly king that the Jews of his day thought their Messiah would be.
The Jews had come to believe over the last few centuries that righteousness came by keeping the Law (written and oral) and so their Messiah became earthly as they had, missing the spiritual nature of His kingdom.
They added to God's Law so that they could glorify the flesh. This has always happened and continues today. This is why it is of great importance to recognize that neither Christ, nor His kingdom is not of this world.
1CO 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.
1CO 15:40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.
1CO 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
1CO 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;
1CO 15:43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
1CO 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
“natural” - yuciko,j[psuchikos] = soulish. The Greeks used this word to designate the soul of a man.
Our bodies are soulish. That is, it is so constituted that most of its activities are concerned with the individual's experience on earth, in his adjustments to his fellow man, his work, his play, himself. The human spirit functions at the same time, enabling man to adjust himself to the religious environment which surrounds him. If he is a pagan, he worships idols and participates in the ceremonies of the idol's temple. If his human spirit is imputed alive by the Holy Spirit as part of the saving work of God, he is enabled to worship God and participate in the service of the Lord Jesus.
So many of the Jews of Jesus’ day had abandoned the spiritual aspect of the Law and so it naturally followed that they did the same to their understanding of the Messiah and His kingdom.
When you plant a seed it dies but from that death comes life. If it doesn't die, it remains by itself alone. The Jews of this day had come to believe that a seed planted would grow more and bigger seeds.
Natural - soulish, concerned with self and self's environment.
Spirit - concerned with divinity. We are born with a spiritually dead one (can only seek a form of godliness). When given alive in Christ it's concerned with Him and can affect the soul.
We see a great example of this when some Greek proselytes desire an interview with Jesus a few days before His cross.
Proselytes were Gentiles who sought to convert to Judaism. This took years of instruction and at this time that instruction was based upon seeking righteousness by keeping the Law.
JOH 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;
JOH 12:21 these therefore came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
JOH 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew [from the same home town on the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee]; Andrew and Philip came, and they told Jesus.
JOH 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
JOH 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
JOH 12:25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world [earthly] shall keep it to life eternal.
JOH 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me [I came to bear witness of the truth]; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
JOH 12:27 "Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
JOH 12:28 "Father, glorify Thy name." There came therefore a voice out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again [resurrection]."
JOH 12:29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him."
JOH 12:30 Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.
JOH 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.
JOH 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
JOH 12:33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
JOH 12:34 The multitude therefore answered Him, "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?"
PSA 110:1 The Lord says to my Lord:
"Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet."
PSA 110:4 The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,
"Thou art a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek."