Day 41 - Jesus Before Pilate

Video Host: Darin Poe - Student Discipleship Director

Big Scripture: John 18:28–37 (NLT)

28 Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?” 30 “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted. 31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die.) 33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. 34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” 37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

Big Idea:

Once the Jewish leaders found Jesus guilty of blasphemy (claiming to be God), they brought Him to the headquarters of the Roman governor. They knew that only the Romans were allowed to execute someone and that’s what they wanted to happen to Jesus. In this story, Pilate was trying to determine if Jesus was an insurrectionistsomeone who wants to become king and overthrow the established governmentor if this was just a case of jealousy by the religious leaders. By the end of this investigation, Pilate would realize Jesus was innocent. But at this point, he wasn’t sure. Jesus’ answers to Pilate reveal two important truths about the kingdom of God. 

  1. The kingdom of God doesn’t advance the way the kingdoms of this world do. Jesus said an earthy kingdom would have responded by fighting for its king. In the kingdom of God, the king first fights for the people. Jesus came to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. As we see Jesus fighting on our behalf, we gain the confidence and faith to fight for Him. We do this by knowing more about Him through reading His Word, praying daily, and living life based on faith in Him.

  2. The kingdom of God is built on the truth. The kings of this world will do anything for power and controleven build their kingdoms on half-truths and lies. Jesus came to build a kingdom on the truth found in God. This is a truth that has the power to confront us and change us. 

Big Questions:
  • What would you do if you were king or queen for a day? 
  • Why did the religious leaders bring Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor? 
  • Why do you think Pilate asked Jesus the questions he did? How did Jesus reply?
  • How is the kingdom of God different than the kingdoms of this world? 

Big Prayer:

God,
Thank You for sending Jesus the King. Thank You that Jesus is different from other kingsHe didn’t come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Thank You that Jesus left His heavenly throne to come live among us, lay down His power, and lay down His life. Help me to fight the right battles and to trust in what King Jesus has done for me. Holy Spirit, teach me what is true by Your Word and Your presence. Help me to build my life on the solid foundation of the truth of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.