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The King and the terrorist (John 18 v 33-40)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

The King and the terrorist John 18 v 33-40)

Sometimes evil is disguised, and sometimes evil is brought right out into the open and seen for what it is. We see an example of each in today’s passage.

The King of the Jews
Read John 18:33

• What does Pilate want to know?
• Why do you think he asks this question?

It’s simple politics. He wants to know whether Jesus is a terrorist or rebel.

• Why do you think Jesus fires this question back?

He wants to know whether it’s a Roman question (“your own idea”), in which case the answer is “no”; or a Jewish question (“others”), in which case the answer may be “yes”. It depends what sort of king.

Read John 18:35

Pilate can’t understand what Jesus is getting at.

• How does Jesus answer in verse 36 and what reason does He give to support His answer?

Look back to John 18:10 to see an illustration of this.

Witness to the truth
Read John 18:37

• How does Jesus define what Him being King means?
• Who has Jesus been bearing witness to, all through His life?

He is the true witness, who perfectly shows men and women the Father God. He is God’s Ruler for the world.

• Who listens to what Jesus says about the Father?

Is Pilate one of them? It doesn’t look like it, sadly.

The test of real Christianity is believing that Jesus perfectly reveals the Father, and so submitting to all that Jesus teaches in the Bible.

Murderous hearts
Read John 18:38

How deeply they hate Jesus, that they prefer to have a violent robber, a kind of terrorist, released instead of Him. Notice the contrast between what Pilate says about Jesus (v 38b) and what John tells us about Barabbas (v 40). The world prefers
guilt and violence to peace and innocence.

The irony is that the innocent man suffers on behalf of the guilty. Barabbas can only be set free because the innocent Jesus suffers in his place.

Thank God that innocent Jesus suffered to set you, guilty of sin as you are, free.

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published November 11, 2011.

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