Friday, November 20, 2015

Gospel text for 22 November 2015

John 18:33-37        Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Reflection        Pontius Pilate is a government guy concerned with the black and white of bureaucratic  matters. He needs to know, “Is Jesus a king and therefore a threat to the political kingdom of which Pilate is a part? or not?” But Jesus is not interested in political position. He is interested in truth. Presupposing Pilate's question, "What is truth?" I turn to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words definition of truth; “objectively, signifying "the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter" … ”even as truth is in Jesus," … meaning is not merely ethical "truth," but "truth" in all its fullness and scope, as embodied in Him; He was the perfect expression of the truth; this is virtually equivalent to His statement in John 14.6; “I am the way and the truth and the life.””

“The veritable essence of matter” is truth. This is the real heart of the matter. Truth is Jesus. Jesus is truth, the “veritable essence of matter,” Divine Presence. Truth (Jesus) is hidden from the eyes of those whose interests are defined by worldly position, power and politic. No doubt that is why Pilate goes on to ask Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18.38) Jesus never answers Pilate. If Pilate cannot see it standing in front of him, nothing Jesus can say will open his ears to hear it. By contrast Jesus sees beyond the things of this world to another reality, a spiritual realm. This alternate reality, the spiritual realm, is that for which he came into the world; to reveal the truth of something more than the political maneuvers of people bound to the kingdom of earth. For those who have eyes to see Jesus reveals the “veritable essence of matter” also understood to be the “uncreated light of God,” the “grace” of God, or the manifestation of living God in numberless shades of grey. 

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