Sunday School Material 4-1-12: Jesus Testifies to the Truth
(John 18:28-38; 4/1/12)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that the Jews sought to get Pilate involved with their plans to kill Jesus. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to keep the devil from using us in his wicked schemes.
Body: Read John 18:28-32 I. Pilate Listens. The Jews took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman authority, to have Pilate approve the punishment of Jesus. Pilate asks about why they would bring the matter to him. The Jews talk about the need for Roman authority to have Jesus killed.
Applications – - Consistent religious and practical behavior. Notice in vs. 28 of the Sunday School material the contradictory behavior of the Jews. On one hand, they sought to have their oppressors to kill Jesus.
On the other hand, they wanted to avoid too much contact with the Gentiles, so they would be clean enough to partake in the Passover. We should make sure that we do all that we can to keep the devil from having us to act in such a contradictory way.
Whenever we seek the harm of someone else, we need to pause all of our religious activity and check our hearts. Without some soul searching, we may be as religious and as wicked, as the Jews in our text.
Let’s work on being consistent in our religious and practical behaviors. When our religion allows and even spurs hatred, God is not pleased.
- Prophecies/promises of God. Notice in vs. 32 of the Sunday School material the idea of fulfilling prophecy. A Jewish stoning would not satisfy the prophecy of the Son of God being lifted up (i.e., on the cross).
On one hand, we should be thankful about the trustworthiness of God’s prophecies regarding obedience. God promises that if we would obey that He would see that we are blessed (see Lk. 11:28).
But on the other hand, we should be governed by the prophecies about disobedience. God punishes chastisement for sin (see Heb. 12:6). Let’s work on living like we believe the prophecies and promises of God.
Read John 18:33-38 II. Pilate Inquires. Pilate talks with Jesus in this section of the Sunday School material. They have an exchange about Jesus being a king. They have an exchange about truth. Pilate declares to the Jews that he finds no basis for a charge against Jesus.
Applications – - “Hear say” information. Notice in vs. 34 of the Sunday School material the idea of people talking to you based on what someone else has told them.
On one hand, we should be aware that the person who accuses us may really know very little about us. Their accusation may be based on “hear say” evidence.
On the other hand, we should be careful about acting upon “hear say” information. Especially as leaders, we should make sure we understand the relevant facts, before we exercise the authority that has been entrusted to us.
Much of what is told to us may be wrong, but some may be right. We need to analyses, investigate, and discern before we act. Let’s be careful about acting on “hear say” information.
- Jesus’ kingdom. Notice in vs. 36 that Jesus talks about His kingdom being not of this world. On one hand, Jesus was not born in Bethlehem to conquer the Roman control of the land.
But on the other hand, Jesus was born to set up the expanding kingdom of God, in the hearts of those who would accept Jesus as savior by faith. Pilate was talking about political rule; whereas, Jesus was talking about spiritual rule.
The Pastor holds that political and spiritual are not necessarily exclusive. For example, those who are spiritually strong, in the Lord, should exercise wise political stewardship –we should vote in people who do right and vote out people who do wrong.
Thus, there is some overlap between political and spiritual rulership. But the focuses of both are different. Whereas, the measure of political alliance may be found in where we live, how we register to vote, and to whom we pay taxes.
The measure of spiritual alliance is found in obeying God’s word and will. Let’s make sure we demonstrate our being in Jesus’ kingdom, by our obedience to the greatest commands to love God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Followers of the Truth. Notice in vss. 37-38 of the Sunday School material the talk about truth. Jesus was born to testify to the truth. Jesus declares that those who are on the side of truth listens to Him.
And Pilate yet asks, what is truth? We will not exhaust the issues of these verses in this allotted time. However, we should at least walk away knowing that Jesus is the true savior and lord of God’s people.
The best thing we can do is to accept Him as our savior and lord. The greatest evidence that we have really accepted Him is not in what we say but in what we do. John 13:34-35 talks about how loving one another is the “tell tell” sign that we are really disciples of Christ.
Let’s work on loving like we are followers of the Jesus the truth (see Jn. 14:6). This kind of following of the Truth/Jesus should have us trying to help people get saved and growing in the Lord.
- Blameless living. Notice in vs. 38 that Pilate found no bases for punishing Jesus. We should live so that objective third parties would conclude that there are no bases for punishment.
A good biblical term for this idea is to live “blamelessly” or “above reproach.” Too often we hurt the ministry and cause that God is trying to perform through us, by our sins.
In other words, too many of us have done things and fail to do things that provide bases for punishment. Let’s work on living blamelessly.
Conclusion: Let’s work on keeping the devil from using us in his wicked schemes. God has much for those who obey His will.
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