The trial before pilate

Published November 25, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

JOHN 18:33b-37

reflectionstodayPilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”


A KINGDOM NOT OF THIS WORLD. “My kingdom does not belong to this world,” Jesus tells Pilate who is investigating him. Pilate hears from the people that Jesus is the King of the Jews. Pilate must be laughing for being dragged into this mock trial. So what if Jesus is the King of the Jews? As a matter of policy, the emperor allows kings to rule in his realm as long as they remain under his authority. Kings are like little princes. A powerful person can be a king of a nation or a part of it. King Herod, in the other gospels, is a tetrarch, whose realm is only in Galilee and Perea.

Jesus admits he is the King of the Jews, but his claim should be understood differently. He is not the king they impute him to be. The evangelist John in his time is making a theological description of Jesus. The kingdom of Jesus is not earthly.

The First Reading tells us that the Son of Man comes from heaven. He must be a king because it talks about his dominion and kingship having no end.

The Second Reading acknowledges Christ as the ruler (archon) of kings (basileis) of the earth. He is not an emperor (sebastos), associated with brutal and evil rule.

As Catholics, we acknowledge Christ the King as a spiritual leader sent by the Father to take charge of us and the world. Our Church has taught us to understand his kingship and reign according to the sacred traditions.

Are we willing to join our King’s fight for the triumph of good? Submission to his authority is the business of our religion. Without obedience and loyalty, we fail as God’s subjects.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: