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Amazing drama in John today where the eternal purposes and of God and His truth intersect with sordid human purposes, their power plays, politics and deceptions.

I wonder if the comments of David about the curses came out of the depression he was in because his son had betrayed him. It must have been awful to have your own flesh and blood betray you, no wonder he didn't try and stop Saul's kin from hurling the curses.

John 18:37


Pilate said to Him, Then You are a King? Jesus answered, You say it! [You speak correctly!] For I am a King. [Certainly I am a King!] This is why I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth [who is a friend of the Truth, who belongs to the Truth] hears and listens to My voice. (John 18:37 AMP)

I will peak through the curtains of the New Testament and for this moment leave behind my comments on the Old Testament reading today, at least for now. In reading the above verse, which Mike has mentioned in his comments today, I want to deal with this “thing” called “Truth” and the presenting of truth.

Believers, Christians, are commanded to go into all the world, the kosmos—as per Thayer: 1) an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
2) ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens, to preach and teach and make disciples. We as a people of God have wrestled with how that looks. Do we stand on the street corner, the marketplace, in our front and back yards to do this? Do we cross the seas heading off to other countries, becoming missionaries to give out the gospel? Do we support those who do and thus, by our support and through them present the gospel?

Jesus has stated to Pilate that those who desire Truth will hear and listen to His voice, thus receive the Word that is truth. I wonder if our job is to cultivate the love for the truth in our own lives, our families’ lives, as well as our distant relatives and neighbors. If someone has the heart for truth then it follows, they will receive Truth. The problem with truth is this: It is confrontational, especially the truth about ourselves. We just loved to be lied too. We think that if we deal in truth and hurt people’s feelings who want to be lied too, then we are operating out of something other than love. In today’s slang vernacular, we become “haters.”

In using Jesus “salt and light” image, how do we live our lives in Truth in such a way that we cause those around us to become thirsty for the Truth, not stopping to quench that thirst on substitutes, and cultivate a desire to come out of darkness into the Light showing up every piece and speak of sinful dust?

Just some things to think about and go, “Hmmmmm.”

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Psalm 119 (NKJV)
113
I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law.

123
My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation and Your righteous word.
124
Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes.
125
I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies.

John 19 (NKJV)
4
Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”
5
Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
7
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

~~
NOTE:
The dividing line between truth and lies, light and darkness is how we respond to Jesus being the Son of God.

And this is not just making a “one-time” decision to receive Christ as Savior and Lord, and then live any way we want. This is a lifestyle.

I am struck by Psalm 119:13 – “I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law.”

There is “double-mindedness” in me, and I am sure it is in your humanity as well.

Meditation on God’s Word, and waiting on the Spirit to allow Him to teach us His Word and plant His Word in us is key.

Psalm 37 (Amplified)
4
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.”

Vance

Kidron Valley: Valley of the Shadow of Death
http://www.returntogod.com/jerusalem/valleys.htm

___________________________

First, David asks God to confound Ahithophel's counsel; then he sends Hushai to accomplish this request.

I can identify with this, as I feel "I have the solution," and I try to help God resolve my problems. On the one hand it is our desire to trust God and on the other hand, it is our nature to try to manipulate the results.

___________________________

I fell behind in some of my reading of the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs--well, not really fell behind, simply did not comment on it as I was trying to get through the text Mike shared (Bob Deffinbaugh , Th.M: a book? hee hee).
___________________________


What is eternal life?

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

There was a song in the 1960s; some of you may remember it: "To know, know, know him, is to love, love, love him. Just to see him smile, makes my life worthwhile. To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him, and I do."

If we know Him, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, we will love Him, because we will know what Jesus wants to convey to us his "joy" and for us to be set apart by the TRUTH.

I am reading a book by Greg Bahnsen called "Always Ready" that seriously focuses on our need to recognize that ALL "wisdom and knowlege" come from God. The only path to wisdom and truth is found in Christ. Colosians 2:3 says that ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are deposited in Christ alone. It is impacting me greatly, as my world view has been diluted by neutral thinking.

Here Jesus prays that the Father will:

7Sanctify[b] them by the truth; your word is truth.

___________________________


This is the first time I can recall God ever being willing to share "His glory,"

"22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one."

I never saw that before! God is actually giving US the glory that God gave Jesus!

Do you all realize how BIG that is? I am BLOWN AWAY!

But then I think to myself: If we are truly IN HIM and He is truly IN US, how can we NOT be glorified, and then I must recognize how much my actions represent my Lord and in ways I had not previously considered. It is an awesome responsibility be the child of the True King of kings and Lord of lords.

___________________________

I cannot help but wonder how the Jehovah's Witnesses handle John 17:24.

24"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because YOU LOVED ME BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD."

___________________________

In John 18 we see Jesus taking a route similar to that which David took: The Kidron Ravine (Valley of the Shadow of Death).

Jesus had been up all night long, and it was the early morning hours when they brought him before Pilate.

It appears the High priests attempted to convey some kind of conspiracy to incite a revolution, though Jesus clearly lets them know he spoke openly in the Synagogues and throughout all of Judea.

38Pilate said to Him, "WHAT IS TRUTH?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him."

Standing in front of Pilate was the EPITOME of TRUTH, yet he wanted to know WHAT IS TRUTH!

I couldn't help thinking about the high priests...who was he priest to?Did he identify with the cries of Israel for a messiah or was he too comfortable without one.If he as high priest wanted to know truly if Jesus was the Son of God,he could have sought for answers from God.No where is it recorded that the Jews really asked God to reveal the truth.They had their expectations and if God's plans didn't fit into their agenda then they turned their back.
Godly men who submitted to the will of God in their lives didn't always have it easy....Abraham had to leave his comfort zone,Joseph spent time in prison,the disciples left jobs and families to follow Jesus.God's plans may not seem plesant to us at the time..the early christians paid dearly for their faith.Will we fit God into our lives or let Him fit us into His.Do we want God's plans in our lives to be nice and comfy...or do we submit our lives and carry our crosses(even if they're not nice and comfy)....
God bless you all

Pontius Pilate

Pilate was prefect of Samaria and Judah from 26-36 A.D.

[According to history Pilate made an immediate impression upon the Jews when he moved his army headquarters from Caesarea to Jerusalem. They marched into the city with their Roman standards, bearing the image of the "divine emperor" and set up their headquarters right in the corner of the Temple in a palace-fortress called "Antonia," which outraged the Jews. Pilate quickly learned their zealous nature and political power within the province and, according to Josephus, ordered the standards to be returned to Caesarea (Josephus Ant. 18.3.1-2; Wars 2.9.2-4).

Pilate made some other mistakes according to history before the time when he ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. One time he placed on the walls of his palace on Mt. Zion golden shields bearing inscriptions of the names of various gods. Tiberius had to personally order the removal of the shields. Another time Pilate used Temple revenue to build his aqueduct. There is another incident only recorded in the Bible where Pilate ordered the slaughter of certain Galileans (Luke 13:1) who had supposedly been offering sacrifices in the Temple.]
http://www.bible-history.com/empires/pilate.html

More details on gold shield fiasco:
"Philo tells us (Legatio ad Caium, xxxviii) that on other occasion he dedicated some gilt shields in the palace of Herod in honor of the emperor. On these shields there was no representation of any forbidden thing, but simply an inscription of the name of the donor and of him in whose honor they were set up. The Jews petitioned him to have them removed; when he refused, they appealed to Tiberius, who sent an order that they should be removed to Caesarea."

(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia)


Having already been reported to Tiberius and rebuked once - Pilate would be very leery of doing something to antagonize the Sanhedrin and be reported again - hence his delicate handling of Jesus' trial.

Pilate seemed to be caught in a bad place - he kept saying (according to John) he could find no "fault in him".

Pilate was more than likely a pagan who worshiped the Roman gods - the idea of a god coming down as man would not be unfamiliar to him, nor unbelievable. The line in John 19:7 saying Jesus claimed to be the Son of God made him more "afraid". Probably because he could believe it, and combine that with wife's dream in Matt 27:19.

In the end, the veiled threats of Caeser (Tiberius) getting involved won out - and Jesus was sentenced.

What happened to Pilate?

We know this:
Josephus (Ant, XVIII, iv, 1, 2) gives an account of what really happened to Pontius Pilate and his removal from office. A religious fanatic arose in Samaria who promised the Samaritans that if they would assemble on Mt. Gerizim, he would show them the sacred vessels which Moses had hidden there. A great multitude of people came to the "sacred mountain" of the Samaritans ready to ascend the mountain, but before they could they were attacked by Pilate's cavalry, and many of them were slaughtered. The Samaritans therefore sent an embassy to Vitellius, the legate of Syria, to accuse Pilate of murdering innocent people. Vitellius, who wanted to maintain friendship with the Jews, removed Pilate from office and appointed Marcellus in his place.

Pilate was ordered to go to Rome and answer the charges made against him before the emperor. Pilate set out for Rome, but, before he could reach it, Tiberius had died. - ibid.

Caligula became emperor and one source says - Pilate was tried, convicted and exiled - and later committed suicide. There are other stories but the exile story has legs because of Eusebius:

Eusebius (4th cent AD) tells us (Historia Ecclesiastica, II), based on the writings of certain Greek historians, that Pilate soon afterward, "wearied with misfortunes," had killed himself. (Hist. Eccl. 2.7.1). - ibid.


John 18& 19

Random notes:

1) Herod's son Archelaus screwed up and hence:

Archelaus antagonized the Jews as his father had, and in 6 CE the emperor Augustus acceded to a delegation by placing Judea and Samaria under the indirect rule of a Roman prefect (or after about 44 CE a procurator), and the direct rule of a Roman-appointed high priest instead. Both of these titles were administrative officers, rather than nobility. Other than Temple officers dealing with trespass within the bounds of the temple, the Prefect was the only person authorized to sentence anyone to death, seen as an essential power in maintaining rule and military discipline. As an autonomous local ruler, the prefect was not answerable to Rome for their exercise of this power, whether the person executed was Roman or Jew.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_and_historical_background_of_Jesus

When this happened the priests ran around in sackcloth? and ashes? and bemoaned that scripture had been broken. What scripture?

Gen 49:10 (Isaac blessing Judah)
The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs
and the obedience of the nations is his.

The "he comes" in Hebrew is "Shilo comes". Shilo being interperted as "messiah".

Little did the priests know that there was a little boy growing up in Nazareth that made the prophecy true.

2) Roman trials required:
specific indictment, witnesses, accused given the liberty to answer his accusers.
Just like the Jewish hearings - this trial was a mockery. Probably because of reasons noted in "Pilate" post above.

3) Why the emphasis on the sitting of Pilate at the Stone Pavement.

"The Hebrew word for Pavement occurs only once in the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 16:17 we read, "King Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon the pavement of stones." In Ahaz's case his act was the conclusive token of his abject apostasy. So here of Pilate coming down to the apostate Jews. In the former case it was a Jewish ruler dominated by a Gentile idolater; in the latter, a Gentile idolater dominated by Jews who had rejected the Messiah! (AWP John 19:13)"
http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/words/1/1149047679-9681.html

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

4) Some things to think about or check on your own.

The crown of thorns was a usual mockery thing, or could it be related somehow to God's curse for Adam involving thorns in Gen 3?????

I did not have time to check this out - as I need to go to bed - but you can look for yourselves. Through all trials in all gospels - 7 indictments (weak or not) against Jesus. Pilate came and went before Jesus 7 times. Pilate asked Jesus 7 questions.

I will have to count this stuff tomorrow on my own to verify it. For now - just throwing it out there.

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