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John 18: Jesus' Identity: Who in the World Is this Man?

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Reading: John 18

Text
Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?"
"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?"
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place."
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" retorted Pilate. (John 18:33-38a)

Reflecting and Thinking
John's gospel uses a lot of space telling us who Jesus is. It does this through telling us of his experiences, his human interactions, his conversations, and his teachings. His conversation with Pilate is most telling. Pilate asks about his identity: Who are you? Pilate thinks he has the upper hand. Faithful believers know differently. Pilate does not know what truth is, and he does know the one who is truth. Do we?

As we approach the crucifixion of Jesus, the identity of Jesus becomes crucial. We are approaching the end of the gospel. How would you describe who Jesus is? What aspects of his identity are most meaningful to you? How would you answer someone who asked you the question of our title, "Who in the world is Jesus?"

Prayer
Father God, we come to you in the name of Jesus, by his authority, and dependent upon who he is and what he did so that we might have access to you. We are grateful for his demonstration of your love. We feel our frailty, our fragility. We feel our humanness. We want to be better and to do better. May we commit ourselves to knowing and acting on truth. Make us like us like Jesus, in his name, Amen.


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Last updated March 8, 2011