SanLo Community, an update for the week of May 26,2019…
A NEW HOPE – John 18:33-38a – Pastor Joshua Scott
In our lives, we might not be living in a space opera fighting forces of evil but all of us are looking for hope. All of us are looking to something that we think will make us happier. All of us desire things that we think that we need. So where are you finding your greatest hope in life? What are you placing your faith in for day-to-day joy and happiness?
In John 18:33-38a, Pilate questions Jesus. He had to sniff out whether this man really aimed to compete and threaten the rule of Rome. But instead of finding any relation to an earthly political kingdom, Pilate finds that Jesus is a King of Truth. It was for this reason that Jesus was born. That leads us to our main idea: King Jesus is our one true hope.
Jesus is THE King. The King, not of this world, but of truth. He has come to make known the reign of His Heavenly Father; to profess of the hope that only He could bring to all mankind. So what is this hope and where can we find it? For starters, let’s start where our passage does and first look at where hope is NOT found. So our first point is this:
True hope is not found in this world (vv.33-36). True hope, truest happiness, the deepest joy in life isn’t found in the things around us. It’s not something we can see or touch around us. When we look toward earthly things, we’re only setting ourselves up to be letdown.
In v.33, Pilate enters his room and asks Jesus a simple question. “Are you the King of the Jews?” This question is present in all four Gospels, so it must be a pretty big deal. In all four gospels the “you” is made emphatic. “You of all people are a king?” “You who are under arrest?” “You who were betrayed by His own people claim to rule over them?” Pilate could already begin to see through the Jewish leaders’ intentions - to get Pilate to be the one to kill Jesus based on the lie that Jesus was a King in competition with Rome’s emperor Caesar. Jesus goes on to make clear to Pilate that He is guilty of no such thing. Yes, He is the King of Truth but at the same time He’s not a political earthly King in the sense that most people think of.
That’s why Jesus says these famous words, “My kingdom is not of this world…” So in a way, yes, Jesus is saying He is a King but not in the way you or I might think of. Instead, Jesus defines His kingdom not as a territory nor of earth. If His kingdom isn’t of earth, then there is no threat to Rome.
Jesus wasn’t threatening Rome by appealing to an earthly kingdom… instead He’s aiming to reveal a hope available to all mankind that comes from another realm. Jesus knew what the Jewish leaders and Pilate were attempting to do and eventually succeeded at… killing Him on a cross. But instead of running away, Jesus committed and stayed true to His course because He knew what mankind needed wasn’t another earthly kingdom but a greater one. A kingdom not in competition with the things of this world but standing apart from them. What we need is something outside of ourselves, something that Jesus points us to outside of this world, that we can latch our hope onto.
So if we know where true hope is not found, then where is it?
True hope is found in Christ vv. 37-38a. True hope could never be discovered where it was never meant to be found in the world; because true hope can only be found in Christ. Jesus gives us our greatest hope for our every need in everything and through every season. In fact, Jesus was born for it.
Jesus says His Kingship is meant to bear witness to the truth. In essence, He’s saying, “I’m the King of Truth.” So what’s that mean? Truth isn’t being used in the sense of honesty or truthfulness. Instead, Jesus is defining “truth” as Himself. Truth is God. It’s what we see when we see God, and when we see Jesus we see God Himself. As the human incarnation of God, Jesus is the disclosure of God, the very revelation of Him to us. As the agent who reveals the Father and His plan for our and the rest of humanity’s salvation, He reveals God’s caring and loving heart for us. This is the greatest truth. This is why Jesus is the greatest hope any of us could ever have… because He answers our greatest needs not just in life now but for eternal salvation.
By being willing to become God in flesh, be the King of Truth, God’s personal revelation of self in human form to mankind, we get to have the greatest hope for life not only now but for eternity… because Jesus came to save us. He came to live the life that humans before and after Him could never hope to live, a life without sin. A life that none of us could ever hope to achieve no matter how many chances we could be given because all of us in our fallen nature know that we are sinners. ALL OF US have fallen far short of God’s holiness, God’s perfection. Imperfect people could never live with a perfect God.
But it’s because of this Jesus was born; to be the intermediary; to be the one that stands in the gap between us and the Father. Not only living the life we should have lived but dying the death that we deserved to die as the consequence of our sins. This is what Jesus means when He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14:6) Jesus is our bridge, our only hope for a relationship with God because He took it upon Himself to make a way for us.
This is true hope: King Jesus living and dying for us; the King of Truth. Would we all not look to the world… but find our true hope in Christ; to see Jesus as the King of our lives, fully in control & calling us closer to Him.
Praise Songs: Holy is the Lord, Son of God, Living Hope, Doxology.
Children’s Message: Thank you, Jessica Pham, for sharing about the various hats people wear. Jesus wears a crown because He is the King of kings and is God’s Son.
Mission Moment: Welcome to Jondy Natividad and Craig Ng as they will go with On The Mission to Yokohama, Tokyo and Nagano, Japan this July 20 through August 6 for a series of basketball camp outreaches. Please pray for the team of 14 and for Jondy and Craig. More information is available at www.onthemission.com