I Am The Truth
In tomorrow's Gospel reading, we get an enigmatic exchance between Pilate and Jesus on the day of his crucifixion. John tells us:
Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that 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."We get this reading on what has come to be known as Christ the King Sunday as all the readings related to the kingship of Jesus. Here Jesus defines that kingship very differently from that of earthly kings. Theologian Paul Tillich (1886-1965) put it this way:
The truth of which Jesus speaks is not a doctrine but a reality, namely, He Himself: "I am the truth."—a profound transformation of the ordinary meaning of truth. Jesus is not the truth because His teachings are true. But His teachings are true because they express the truth which He Himself is. He is more than His words. And He is more than any word said about Him. What Jesus said and what was written about Jesus is not the liberating truth. For this is the greatness of Protestantism: that it points beyond the teachings of Jesus and beyond the doctrines of the Church to the being of Him whose being is the truth.Anthony F.M. Clavier has preached on this passage saying:
Our king likes to go out into the streets in disguise. He turns up as a street person, a homeless, battered woman, a black teen being taunted by young racists, and whispers to us that as we care for everyone, we care for him. As we care for him, we learn what loving sacrifice means. When we are humble enough to learn how to serve, we are ready to acknowledge Christ as king.
Labels: Gospel reading