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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for John 18:33

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A. This is a question that Jesus could not just give a yes or no answer to.
1. He had not come to overthrow the Roman yoke and lead the Jews in a general rebellion against Rome.
a. This was the basic charge that the Priests were bringing against Him.
b. That establishing Himself as the king of the Jews, He was advocating the overthrow of Rome, thus was guilty of treason against Rome.
c. Thus, in that sense, He was not the king of the Jews, plotting to lead the Jews in a rebellion against Rome.
2. To answer now would be to deny the very purpose of His coming into the world.
B. So Jesus responded with a question to the question. "Do you want to know this for yourself, or did others tell this to you?"
1. Is this the charge that they are bringing against Me?
2. Are you asking this from the sincere desire to know for yourself?
C. Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew?" He was thus declaring that He was not interested for himself.
1. Your own nation and the chief priests have brought these charges against You.
2. "What have You done?"
D. Notice that Jesus does not answer the question, "What have you done?" but goes back to the original question concerning His claim of being a King.
1. He could have said, "I have healed the sick, cleansed the leper, raised the dead, fed the multitudes, preached good news to the poor."
2. These are the things that He told the disciples of John the Baptist to tell him when he was inquiring if Jesus was the One that they were looking for or should they look for someone else.
3. Pilate would not have understood this evidence.
4. "My kingdom is not of this world, if it were, My servants would fight to keep Me from being delivered to the Jews."
a. He is now acknowledging that He is a King.
b. But His kingdom is not of this world, this is exactly what all of the Jews, including the disciples were looking for, an earthly kingdom.
c. My servants are not out here fighting against your troops.
d. Peter thinking of the earthly kingdom in the garden drew his sword to fight, but was told by Jesus to put His sword away.
e. The Jews were wanting Pilate to deliver Jesus to the Jews that they might do to Him as they wished.
E. "My kingdom is not from here."
1. All throughout the teaching of Jesus He had taught them of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven.
a. He did not speak of setting up an earthly kingdom.
b. This was the mind set of the disciples, and the Jews concerning the Messiah.
2. In His prayer in the preceding chapter He declared that He was not of this world, and the disciples were not of this world.
3. The world is under the kingdom of darkness. Satan's kingdom rules over this world.
4. This is becoming more evident every day.
a. He is called the lawless one, and look at the lawlessness in the world today.
b. The world has become morally and spiritually degenerate.
A. Understanding that He is not a threat to Rome, for He is not advocating a rebellion against Rome, the question is then changed, "Are You then a King?"
B. To this question Jesus can give a direct answer. "You said it. I am a King, to this end was I born, and for this cause, came I into the world that I might bear witness to the truth."
1. The wise men came from the East to inquire of Herod where was He born who was to become the King of the Jews.
2. This is the purpose for which He came into the world, to bear witness to the truth.
a. The truth of the Kingdom of heaven.
b. That there is a higher kingdom than that which is established by men.
c. The kingdoms of men will crumble and fall, the kingdom of God will endure forever.
C. "Everyone who is of the truth, heareth My voice."
1. Not everyone hears His voice, but everyone who is of the truth.
2. Jesus had said, "My sheep hear my voice and they do follow Me."
D. Pilate asked, "What is truth?"
1. The age of philosophy was not quite dead, and the wisest men were still trying to determine the answer to this question.
2. I hear in the voice of Pilate a touch of cynicism, that kind of cynicism that comes to a man who has searched for the truth until he has become discouraged and is convinced that it does not exist.
E. He came to bear witness of the truth of God.
1. Man had developed warped concepts of God.
2. Everything from a selfish, self-centered, lustful being, to an essence so far removed as to be untouchable or unreachable by man.
3. God, who at different times and in different ways has spoken to the fathers through the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His own dear Son."
A. That should have been the end of the trial. If justice was to be served, Jesus should have been released a free man at that point.
B. What an incredible witness, "I find no fault in Him."
1. Judas was to witness, "I have betrayed innocent blood."
2. Pilate declared, "I find no fault in Him."
3. The thief on the cross will say, "This man has done nothing amiss."
4. He is innocent, there is no fault in Him, He has done nothing amiss.
5. God made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God through Him.
C. Pilate now brings up a custom that Rome had developed for the holidays, and that was to release a prisoner, usually a political prisoner. They would thus show a token of kindness to the people at their celebration time.
1. Pilate was suggesting that Jesus would be the One that he would grant the freedom to, in keeping with the custom.
2. He asked, "Will you therefore that I release unto you the king of the Jews?"
A. Now Barabbas was a robber, we are told in the other gospels that he was also an insurrectionist, and had committed murder during an insurrection.
1. He was guilty of the very charges that they were seeking to make against Jesus.
2. They were charging Jesus with insurrection against Rome.
B. Not this man, but Barabbas.
1. The word Barabbas means, son of the father.
2. He was the son of the father, but the father was not God.
3. Who then was his father?
JOH 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
C. Who do you choose, the Son of God, or the son of Satan.
1. The absolutely most incredible thing is that they choose Barabbas.
2. Who do you choose to follow?
3. Who do you choose to reign over your life?

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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