John 18:28-38 What is the purpose of my existence?
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die. 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?” John 18:28-38
Jesus said the purpose He is born into this world is to testify to the truth and turn people to live by it. By living in the manner that Jesus lived, we can experience fulfilment in our work, family and community life. The Jews plot to put Jesus to death because they disagree with the truth. They want to get rid of Jesus because He will not play along with their agenda and many people are leaving the Jews to follow Him. Pilate, being visibly confused by the Jews and their position ask, “What is truth?” The Jews arrest Jesus in secret and try Him before Pilate, who is governor of Judea. But Pilate says to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jewish leaders have limited powers over their Jewish community under Roman rule. They can exercise the Law of Moses to an extent short of the capital punishment. Hence, in order to kill Jesus, they need to prove Jesus’ guilt before Pilate, who finds Him innocent. Jesus’ incarnation reveals the purpose and the meaning of life.
1. Pilate summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Pilate asks Jesus if He has a political agenda to gather a Jewish revolt against the government. The “King of the Jews” is used for Alexander and Herod the Great, who are political figures. But Jesus repeatedly says that He has no political aspirations. In fact, He refuses the people’s efforts to make Him king (John 6:15).
2. 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.” Jesus further substantiates His abstinence from politics by pointing to the fact that He gives Himself to the Jews without a struggle. Jesus makes another point that His Kingdom is not of this physical world. Something that Pilate may not be convinced of although Greek mythology does speaks of another world of gods and demigods.
3. 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 wants to confirm Jesus’ position by asking Him, “So You are a king?” He wants to determine whether Jesus constitutes a political threat to Roman rule. Jesus does not hide the fact that He is ordained as King from the day of His birth. But a king with no political agenda apart from testifying to the truth; He is King to those who seeks the truth and hears His voice. Pilate dismisses Jesus’ claims concerning the truth for He has no interest in judging Jewish internal arguments of their Law.
1. The Kingdom of this world and its hierarchy will pass away, but the offices of the heavenly Kingdom are everlasting. As it is common for one to aspire to office, however our true everlasting kingdom is not of this world. Many are ambitious in climbing the ladder of recognition and power only to have it taken away from them. The kingdom of this world has a strange attraction with its promises of wealth, power and fame. Jesus with His extraordinary gifts does not lack supporters (including many of His disciples) who are keen to ride on His coattail. We must never be attracted to a higher office for personal gain or recognition, but seek to do good in whatever capacity we have. We seek the heavenly glory and promotion that belongs to the meek and to those who gave their lives for the benefit of others. Jesus was promoted and glorified as King of all creation.
2. We seek promotion only to use its influence as an advocate for truth. In other words, we are to establish the value system of justice, mercy and humility in our world. Jesus was promoted as King and Lord of all creation so that He could use His authority to make the world a better place. Jesus said, “for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” When we are found faithful in standing for the truth while in our current capacity and in spite of oppositions, we will be promoted in God’s time. However, it is impossible to grow in an organization where truth does not prevail. In an organizational culture where leaders place their personal interests above that of the community, will inevitably side line those who stand for justice and mercy.
3. Our career, family and church life find their fulfilment when we live in the manner that Jesus lives. People are constantly looking for an ideal job or a community so that they could grow in it. The younger ones look for an ideal spouse and a perfect romance. The answer for a fulfilling career or relationship is found not in a certain company or person but within ourselves. In other words, we could have a fulfilling career and family life right now, by living according the teachings of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will empower us with peace and love and make our lives abundant.
1. Advocate the truth in your organization by doing the following:
a. covering the weaknesses of others;
b. suspending your interests to understand the interests of your customer;
c. delivering on what you have promised;
d. defending those who could not defend themselves;
e. being just and fair in all your dealings;
f. working faithfully and diligently even when you are not recognized;
g. making decisions for the good of the organization and not just for your own department.
2. Do not shy away from asking your organization for a position that would allow you to contribute at your greatest potential. When you have proven yourself as an asset to the company, being competent in your scope of work, being respected by all because of your integrity, God will promote you in His time.
Dear Lord, help me to live joyfully and meaningfully in my career and family life. And use me as an instrument to establish righteousness and mercy in my organization. Use me to enlarge my influence in my organization and in my industry. Help me to become a more trustworthy, confident and respectable person. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.