Monday, November 16, 2009

John 18:33-37: The Gospel Lectionary Passage for November 22, 2009

This is my own translation of the lectionary gospel lesson for Sunday. Please make any comments concerning the passage you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God:


33Then again Pilate went into the praetorium, and he called Jesus and said to him, “You, are you the king of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “On your own accord are you saying this or did others say [it] concerning me?” 35Pilate answered, “I myself am not a Jew, am I? Your nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What did you do?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If from this world was my kingdom, then my attendants would fight so that I might not be handed over to the Jews. But now my kingdom is not from here.” 37Then Pilate said to him, “So then, you are a king, aren’t you?” Jesus answered, “You yourself said that I’m a king. For this I myself have been born and for this I have come into the world, so that I might bear witness to the truth. All who are from the truth hear my voice.”

1 comment:


    This coming Lord's Day we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. I'm sure
    those who decided on the Lectionary passages had this in mind when
    they chose the text in John eighteen. "Are you a king?" This is the
    question Pilate asked Jesus. He wanted to be sure Jesus did not see
    himself as a political contender. Jesus' answer evidently satisfied
    Pilate. He could tell that he was dealing with a man of great spirit,
    not a pretender to the throne of Rome or his own throne. The throne
    Jesus wants to sit upon is far more spiritual and far more personal.

    A month or two ago a youth group from a large Methodist Church,
    together with their Pastor and a few adults, came to a small
    Presbyterian Church nearby to do a special dramatic and musical
    program. It was a witness to their faith. There were several skits
    with music in between. Today I can only recall one of the skits or
    dramatic presentations. I believe it was called "The Stool."

    A young woman walked out on stage. With her she carried a stool --
    one of those tall stools that comedians usually sit upon when doing a
    monologue. She placed the stool center stage, and sat down. A young
    man with long hair and a beard entered. He was clearly a Jesus
    figure. The young woman got up off of her stool and offered it to
    Jesus to sit upon. He asked. "Are you sure you know what you are
    doing? Do you really want me to sit on your stool?"

    "Yes," the girl replied.

    "Do you know what your are doing?" he asked again. "Do you really
    want to give your life totally over to me?" I know what I am doing"
    was her reply. Jesus sat down on the stool.

    There followed a series of characters who came on stage. They
    represented temptations in various forms -- drugs, sex, social
    activities, etc. The young woman interacted with each of the
    characters. As time went on she tried to sit on the edge of the stool
    with Jesus. When he resisted, she pushed a little more firmly against
    him. It became something of a tug of war for the stool. Finally in
    desperation she lunged against Jesus knocking him off the stool and
    on to the floor. (The audience laughed loudly.) The young woman sat
    proudly on the throne of her life once again, but only for a minute.
    Then she realized the implications of what she had done, and her
    conversations with Jesus began once again...this time in earnest.

    As you might guess the young woman gave up the throne once again.
    This time she realized what she was doing. She was not doing it
    casually. She was making Jesus the true King of her life. In my mind
    I could hear the music of the old hymn I loved to sing in my youth:

    "King of my life I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be....
    Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow, Lead me to Calvary."