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Daily Reading: 8th January 2016

John 18.33-35 cont.

33 Then Pilate again went into the Praetorium and called Jesus and said to Him: “Are you the King of the Jews?”

34 Jesus replied: “Are you saying this from yourself, or have others told you about Me?”

35 Pilate replied: “Am I a Jew? Your nation and chief priests delivered You to me. What have You done?”

Pilate responded to Jesus by saying “Am I a Jew?” This shows that he had little regard for the Jews, the nation, and even Jesus. It appears to be a response of contempt.

As we know Pilate was a Roman governor. He was the highest authority in the land, which is why the Jews had brought Jesus before him so that he might pass the death sentence on Him.

As far as Pilate was concerned the Jews were a defeated people, a subjugated nation.

The religion and culture of occupied nations were allowed, only so far as they did not interfere with the Roman political system. The Jews were no different, and Pilate would have seen that the Romans were far superior to the Jews. He seems to be offended by even the thought he might be a Jew, misunderstanding what Jesus said.

God chose the people of Israel to be His own people, and that they should be the people to show the nations the way to God.

The promise to Abram (Abraham) was:

I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you” – Genesis 12.3.

It is through the Jews that God promised to bring blessing to all the nations of the world. Yet we are very aware that throughout history the Jews have been severely persecuted in various parts of the world, including our own country.

Within the church there can be no room for any kind of anti-Semitic thought or behaviour (that is discrimination against or persecution of Jews).

God has indeed blessed the whole world through the Jews and He does this in and through Jesus.

Simeon prophesied about Jesus with these words:

29 Now, Master, release your slave in peace, according to Your word.

30 Because my eyes have seen Your salvation

31 Which you prepared before the face of all the people,

32 a light that shines into nations and the glory of Your people Israel – Luke 2.29-32.

Let us pray for the nation of Israel and all Jews everywhere to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, remembering that Jesus died for the whole world.

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