Question #4 (Pilate’s Plight)

Question #4 (Pilate’s Plight)

“What is truth?” Pilate’s final question before leaving Jesus was a rhetorical one. He didn’t expect a response, i often wonder if he wasn’t asking himself the question out loud. Perhaps if we were reading this as a play it would look something like this:

Pilate: (Exhausted and confused he begins to walk towards the door) <Pauses> “What is truth?” [Audibly to himself]

You can probably relate to that, i know that i have often asked myself questions out loud. The real concern would come if i actually answered myself…well i may have done that too, a time or two. Often when i do pause and ask myself questions it is in a moment of confusion. What should i do…etc.

Pilate leaves Jesus and goes back to the Jewish leaders and says, “I find no fault in Him at all.” Pilate was torn, there was nothing to accuse Jesus of…He was indeed an innocent man. Pilate wrestling with the question, “what is truth?” is a question many wrestle with daily.

Let me leave you with this to ponder, a few chapters earlier in John, before Jesus was on trial with Pilate, He says this;

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know and the way you know.” ‘Thomas said to Him, “‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”‘ Jesus said to him, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:1-6

You are Loved,

cj

Question #3 (Pilate’s Plight)

Question #3 (Pilate’s Plight)

“So you are a King?” Pilate desperate for answers, any answer really. His own questions running through his head, answerless, while the religious leaders wait for his ruling, his answers to their questions.  Jesus, His resolve now firm after His prayer in the garden, responds; “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify of the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

Pilate, seemingly confused and lost in thought with questions and answers that seem to lead no where is only more befuddled with Jesus latest answer. We all have questions, and plenty of answers. Yet, even still there are mysteries that won’t be answered in my or your lifetime (unless of course Jesus returns in our lifetime). Let’s look at what Paul writes to the church in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 13:10-13

10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Jesus is the revelation of every answer to every question ever asked…we may not fully understand but we can rest assured in the Truth of Jesus…

You are Loved,

cj

Question #2 (Pilate’s Plight)

Question #2 (Pilate’s Plight)

Last week we took a look at Pilate’s first question to Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?” So rich in its context and with Pilate’s next question we find that Pilate was a man of deep thought and subtle conviction. In response to Pilate’s first question Jesus replied, “Are you speaking for yourself about this or did others tell you this concerning Me?” A question answered by a question answered by a question….

Pilate, in response to Jesus asks, “Am I a Jew?” The idea of the “KING OF THE JEWS” and His love for all humanity has been around for 2000 years. Can the King of the Jews mean anything to anyone other than a Jew? Can the long awaited Jewish Messiah have any meaning for a gentile? The questions just seem to continue from here over the generations since the first recorded question from a gentile to Jesus, “Am I a Jew?” i don’t know but perhaps Pilate’s heart was trying to grasp something greater and even completely unaware begin to bring the message of Hope to all humanity.

Jesus, rises above the question. He presents a new reality to the religious that later is addressed in the letter to the Church in Rome this way, “Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.” a few verses down Paul continues, “But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree-some of the people of Israel-have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a  wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also received the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment form the root of God’s special olive tree.” (Romans 11:11-12,17)

Jesus, in His response to Pilate laid the foundation for what Paul writes here to Rome when He said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My Kingdom is not from here.” In other words, Jesus was simply stating that there is something greater going on here and that redemption is available for all of humanity…God’s love is greater than boarders. Not to say that Israel doesn’t have a sweet spot in God’s heart, we read that in the letter to the Romans but God’s love transcends boarders and is extended to all that believe!

Pilate’s inner turmoil played out for us here delivers a message of eternal hope that regardless of our nationality God is the redeemer of all. And that if Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world neither is ours

You are Loved,

cj

Question 1 (Pilate’s Plight

Question 1 (Pilate’s Plight

We are in the middle of Lent, Passover is just a couple of weeks away. It was during this Feast time that Jesus was arrested and put on trial. He found Himself before Pilate. Pilate was the Governor of the region, he was a Roman, and he represented the interests of the Emperor of Rome.  For the next few weeks we will be looking at this portion of the trial of Jesus, Pilate, asking Jesus 4 questions. You can read them in context in John 18:33-38. Lets examine the first question here:

1. Are You the King of the Jews?
~This question has always interested me. Pilate was aware of Jesus, he may not have been spending much time thinking about him to this point but he definitely had knowledge and knew the name Jesus.  He was a Roman and at the time the Roman Empire was strong. He had no reason to fear an overthrow least of all from the Jews; civil unrest maybe but not a coup d’etat. In the scene right before this one Pilate is talking with the Jewish leaders about the arrest and what exactly they wanted done.

He wasn’t keen on the idea of putting to death an innocent man. However, he was keen on securing his strength as Governor. Therefore he proceeded with the questioning and he started by determining the threat, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Every generation since has asked that same question, is Jesus the King? Is He the Messiah that the Nation of Israel was waiting for? This one question is where we, the disciples of Jesus, start our journey.

Is Jesus who He says He is or is He a lunatic? C.S. Lewis the author of “The Chronicles of Narnia” said, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” He went on to say, “Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”

As we progress towards the cross, as we dig deeper into the person of Jesus we find not only a King, but a Friend and in the end discover our Savior.

You are Loved,

cj

Faith, at times is all i feel i have had.

Faith, at times is all i feel i have had.

“Faith, at times is all i feel i have had.” This statement from last week has been on my mind all week. As i have been pondering the word that i believe to be my focus for the year, “Foundation”. Our Faith in Jesus is primary, its essential, it is the foundation. Each time i have faced a mountain in my life, my faith that Jesus would see me through is at times the only hope i had.

Each new battle has always brought me to this passage in Romans:

Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV)
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Tribulations in life, mountains if you will, lead us to perseverance, when our faith is in Jesus. Perseverance, builds godly character, when our faith is in Jesus. Godly character, results in hope and hope does not disappoint when Jesus is the foundation of that Hope for God’s love is poured out on those that put their faith in Him by way of the Holy Spirit.

May your foundation always be Jesus.

You are Loved,

cj

A bit of advice

A bit of advice

i have spent the better part of my life seeking Jesus. Raised in a Church going home, spent a lot of time traveling to Churches to sing with the family. Went to summer camps, retreats, youth events. Although i gave my “heart” to Jesus at a young age; i didn’t truly understand what that meant until i was 19 when i rededicated my life to Him and was baptized. From that moment on i have continued to serve Him, prior like i stated i served with my family singing, after as a pastor in various roles. Jesus is all i know. i have dedicated my life to Him.

It hasn’t always been easy, i haven’t always given my best, i haven’t always felt as though i had the greatest relationship with Him. In fact i have found in my estimated 34 years of service that high’s and lows, ebbs and flows, strength and weakness, are a normal part of life. Faith is at times all i feel i have had, routine saw me through, going through the motions kept me afloat. When i have found myself just bobbing up and down in stormy seas its been the name of Jesus that has saved me.

Here are just a few bits of advice, things i have found that have helped me weather the storms. When i found myself in ruts, apathy, or sin.

Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God ~ Micah 6:8
< Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” ~ Genesis 3:9
< But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
< Love the Lord…Love your neighbor ~ Mark 12:30-31
< Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. ~ James 1:27
< Repent of your sin ~ Revelation 2:5, 16, 22; 3:3, 20
< I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting the past…I press on… ~ Philippians 3:12-14
< For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ~ Ephesians 2:8

> Sometimes Faith is all you have
> Routine isn’t always bad but if you find yourself in a rut its time to change the routine
> Going through the motions isn’t always bad either, it can be a squeaky wheel, it will eventually draw attention to the needs, its when you give up the motions you dull the voice of God.
> Don’t put your faith in any “person” except the “Person of Jesus, God in flesh”
> Always choose Jesus, only always Jesus
> When all else fails, Jesus Jesus Jesus is all you need to remember

 

You are Loved,

cj

Meditate on God

Meditate on God

Matthew 6:33,34 MSG
“…Steep your life in God-Reality, God-Initiative, God-Provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t don’t get worked up about what may or many not happen…”

To steep, to soak in, to meditate on God and His reality, His plan, and His provision. Society would have you focus on what you don’t have, but can have for the right price. A newer shinier expensive thing that everyone else wants and no one really needs. If you don’t you are missing out! Here is the reality, the God-Realtiy, He is all we ever need and if we steep ourselves in Him, He is all we will ever truly want because He will give us the desires of our heart.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now…..”

You are Loved,

cj