NT Fire Starters – Day 155: John 18:28-19:16
READ: John 18:28–19:16
THINK: What will people think? Whether or not we’d like to admit it, we all worry about that at times. Regardless of how unique and independent we pride ourselves on being, we tend to be concerned about others’ opinions and perceptions of us. That’s understandable to a degree. But when these concerns cause us to defy our better judgment and compromise our connection to Christ, we risk making some tragically life-altering choices. ‘
RESPOND: What was ironic and hypocritical about the Jews’ not going into the palace because they wanted to eat the Passover (v. 28)? In what way do people today sometimes show more concern for religious formalities than for authentic spiritual truth and behavior? In what ways is Jesus kingdom “not of this world”? (See 18:36 note.) What does this mean for Jesus’ followers regarding their relationship with God and their relationship to the world and earthly authorities? What does God’s kingdom involve on earth now, and what will it encompass in the future? In what way did Jesus reveal, prove and testify to the truth? (See 18:37 note.) What does it really mean to be “on the side of truth” (v. 37)? In what ways are people today still searching for an answer to Pilate’s question in verse 38? How do the reasons people rejected Jesus then compare with the reasons people reject Him today? (See 19:4 note.) What was Pilate most afraid of (cf. vv. 8, 12, 16)? Why was the Jews’ statement about Caesar hypocritical? (See 19:15 note.) In what ways are people today like Pilate and like the Jewish leaders?
PRAY: Thank Jesus for giving you a part in His eternal kingdom, and for enduring humiliation to secure that place for you. Ask Him for wisdom to recognize God’s truth and boldness to stand up for it Also, pray for your political leaders and those in positions of authority in your life.
ACT: If you’re currently doing (or not doing) something out of fear of what others might think, change your behavior and boldly do what will honor Jesus. The same goes for any way in which you are being phony or hypocritical. Confess any deceit to God and to others involved, and start living in a way that’s authentic, honest and sincere.