I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: John 18:33-38
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
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. In this passage, Pontius Pilate is interrogating Jesus. Jesus says to Pilate, “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.”
In response, Pilate asks him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)
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 upon, his eyes fell on me. 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:
- “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 1:14)
- “The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
- (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 4:23-24)
- (Jesus said,) “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
Jesus embodies what is true about God and our relationship to God. He is “full of grace and truth.”
Hymn Suggestion: “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life”
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
such a way as gives us breath;
such a truth as ends all strife;
such a life as killeth death.
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
such a light as shows a feast;
such a feast as mends in length;
such a strength as makes a guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
such a joy as none can move:
such a love as none can part;
such a heart as joys in love.
Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture. I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster