King of Truth
The one who speaks the truth has a claim to leadership. This is the person who opens eyes, ears and hearts. He exposes the shameful and raises up the truly righteous. His words challenge us to turn from ways of illusion, to the way of truth. This person is the leader, the King. Jesus is this person.
What does it mean to be a king? Is it the old model of absolute power? Or is it Christ's leadership of service? These questions are the essence of Pilate's and Jesus' dialogue.
As Roman governor of Judea, Pilate was judge and jury in capital cases. His question was direct: "Do you claim to be king of the area I govern in the name of Caesar?" An affirmative answer would have sealed the fate of Jesus, since he would be branded as a political revolutionary.
But the phrase "King of the Jews" had a spiritual meaning that might have escaped Pilate. To probe Pilate's
understanding, Jesus answers a question with a question: "Who are your witnesses about me?" Dismissing Jesus' question, Pilate retorts by pressing his point: "What have you done?" In other words, Pilate wants a direct witness from the source Himself, not from his accusers.
Jesus responds with a speech about his arena (i.e., "his kingdom"). Jesus' arena is not that of popular culture or politics; if it was there would be a bloody revolution.
Pilate still presses the point: "You are a king, aren't you?" Jesus gives in on a semantic point ("You're the one who says so, Pilate") but finally gives Pilate a direct witness: Jesus speaks the truth.
How does the truth Jesus speaks and the truth the "world" speaks different? The truth of the world is transient in nature; it changes with the season and the political landscape. It speaks to ambition and power, to possessions and pleasure. The truth of the world is, at best, shallow.
But the truth Jesus speaks is one of the heart. The truth of Jesus is more than facts; it is one of fidelity. God is "true" to us; that means, he is faithful. He shows us his fidelity through his Son and the power of his Spirit. When we are true to God in return, we "live in truth" (that is, in relationship). Since God is eternally faithful, God's truth goes beyond the transient nature of politics, fad, and fashion.
How does your relationship with God touch you in ways the world cannot match? How has the truth of world failed you? How has God's faithfulness sustained you? A theologian once said that all revelation is invitation. In other words, all that God reveals to us invites us to live with him. This is the reality of Jesus' kingship. Jesus is Lord, so we might live near him in love. He is King of the World, not over us but for us and with us. How can you place one area of your life over to the King of the World this week?
From a reflection on the Gospel by Larry Broding, (www.word-sunday.com)