Monday, April 10, 2017

Pilate and Jesus

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, "Art thou the King of the Jews?"

Jesus answered him, "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?"

Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?"

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

Pilate therefore said unto him, "Art thou a king then?"

Jesus answered, "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world..."

I finally understand this bit of dialogue. Pilate comes to ask Jesus, "Are you king of the Jews?" Jesus says, "Point of clarification: are you asking whether I am denying my previous teachings, or are you asking whether I am fomenting insurrection from a Roman legal standpoint?" Pilate says, "I don't care about Jewish prophecies; I just want to know if you're breaking any Roman laws." Jesus says, "No." But he says it in such a way that Pilate is intrigued, and gives Jesus the chance to say, "No, but I am the Savior of the world" and testify of his own divine mission. And of course as everyone knows, Pilate is impressed with him, despite himself, and even tries to save him from the mob--but ultimately Pilate doesn't have the spine to risk his political future just to save some nobody from Galilee from being framed for treason, even if he is an impressive nobody.

Under similar circumstances, Martin van Buren once told an oppressed people, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you; if I [help] you I shall lose the vote of Missouri."

I used to feel more sympathy for Pilate than I now do. He wasn't a bad man, but he wasn't a valiant man either.


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else."

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