I love the ways God has brought me into His Word this week. I spent some time with an amazing group of young adults at our Church Sunday night. We dug into a specific part of the book of John I want to share with you today.
Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”
And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. Pilate came out again and *said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate *said to them, “Behold, the Man!” So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate *said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”
Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”
Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” John 18:33-19:13
As we were studying these scriptures, we were asked to think about what they say about Jesus’ character. I have read these scriptures a million times. This time the Holy Spirit illuminated the truth that here in these scriptures, we see Jesus setting the example of what it means to stand firm.
He was steady and didn’t hesitate in His answers. He was confident yet humble. He was not swayed by fear or people’s shouts, threats, or voices.
We are living in a culture not much different than Jesus’. He was a threat to the Romans. He was a threat to the Jews because they didn’t know or believe who He really was.
We live in a time and place where we can worship everything around us. Money, other gods, even satan, and none of those things seem to bother or threaten anyone, but we say the name of Jesus Christ, and people get offended and nervous.
I begin to think and ask myself, “Am I standing firm,” or am I being swayed by fear of persecution or other people’s voices and opinions?
What is it that causes you to be fearful or sway?
I think about the times when Jesus asked His disciples to pray as He went to spend time in prayer with the Father. He comes back, and they are asleep. This happens several times.
I think about when Peter was asked if He knew Jesus, and He denied Him.
Or the time when a friend and brother who He has shared life with betrays him for money.
Yet, no matter who is with Him, Jesus knows who He is and whose He is, and He continues to stand firm and walk straight on the path His Father set for Him.Tweet
How my heart longs to live that way!
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
God has provided everything we need to stand firm. Isn’t that amazing? We don’t have to do it on our own, but we do have to do it.
One of the greatest things God has given us to live this life well and to stand firm is His Word, the Bible.
In the Bible, we learn about who God is, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is, and we learn about who He says we are in Jesus. We learn who God says we are to Him.
I look around in our culture today, and I see a lot of confusion. Confusion about who God is, confusion about who people are, and their feelings. There is confusion about what love is.
Confusion is not from God, and if it isn’t from God, it is from our enemy.
But when we know who God is, who we are to Him, and what Jesus has done for us, we don’t have to be confused.Tweet
Jesus knew who He was, and He knew why His Father had sent Him there. He knew His purpose. He was not confused at all.
No matter what was asked of Him, He answered in confidence, and with great humility, He didn’t waver.
I find it interesting that as I watch the things going on around us, I see people in the world standing up for some terrible things with a pretty loud voice. I don’t always see Christians standing up for Jesus with such passion.
I don’t know about you, but I want to stand firm with Jesus. I want Him to see me fighting for the things and the people that matter to Him. I want Him to see me fighting for truth. I want Him to see me fighting for life. I want Him to see me fighting for those who are lost and feeling hopeless, for those with broken hearts. I want HIm to see me fighting for those who are fighting addictions and deeply wounded hearts.
I don’t want to be a disciple who has fallen asleep on Him.
When someone asks me if I know Jesus, I don’t want to shrink back, afraid of the reaction or the rejection I might get from them. I want to say a proud “YES.”
I want to stand firm with Jesus!
Are you with me today? More importantly, are you with Jesus today?
I want to share one of my favorite worship songs at Church. I think it goes well with this message today.