So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38).
So, just a thought . . . as we, our own locally gathered-churches identify ourselves in the story . . .
If Jesus’ claims are to be believed and long term commitment and investment in the church, really a local gathered-church, is to be had, despite and amid social, political, religious, familia pressures to abandon or compromise, then the nature of Jesus’ authority, the nature of his kingdom need to be clear. It is made very clear in that scene before Pilate. Jesus' kingship and kingdom is not of this world–and doesn't defend or act in accordance with the powers of this world. This scene parallels the church’s social-religious-political-civil setting--as Jesus was on trial so is the gathered-church. So, this claim, the fledgling, persecuted, maligned, powerless church needed to hear. Life nor salvation would not be found in the temples that Caesar used to maintain his control over his empire; nor in the Roman house where a cup to Caesar would be lifted up at a diapason (a social supper where people were invited to come and recline); but, in the One standing before Caesar’s proxy—life and salvation is only found in the One who suffered under Pontus Pilate.
I am the author of Wasted Evangelism: Social Action and the Church's Task of Evangelism, a deep, exegetical read into the Gospel of Mark. All royalties from this book go to support our church planting ministry in the Hill community of New Haven, CT. The book and its e-formats can be found on Amazon, Barns'n Noble, (and most other online book distributors) or through the publisher, Wipf & Stock directly.