I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
John 18:33-38 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters[a] again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Jesus Sentenced to Death
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him.
I will never read this passage of scripture from John without remembering a moment in a class I took on the Johannine literature in the New Testament (The Gospel of John and the Epistles of John) in my senior year of college. Dr. Webb Pomeroy, my professor, took us to this passage in John and read through Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Then, he looked around silently at each of us in the class with his steel-blue eyes. After an uncomfortable silence during which every member of the class prayed that he or she would not be called on, his eyes fell on me and he said, “Mr. Bruster, what is truth?”
I looked back at him and gave him the only answer that came to mind… “Uhhhhmmm…”
He looked simultaneously disappointed and amused and said, “Mr. Bruster, it’s Jesus!”
Why didn’t I think of that? After all, it is one of the gospel’s main points. Jesus is the embodiment of what is true. The word truth appears 21 times in the gospel of John alone. Here are a few of those verses:
- John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
- John 1:17 – The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
- John 4:23-24 – [Jesus said,] “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
- John 8:32 – [Jesus said,] “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
- John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Jesus embodies what is true about God and our relationship to God. He is “full of grace and truth.”
There is a lot of theology woven in to hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life” by George Herbert (1633). I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. Listen to this hymn on SoundCloud.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster