Summary: Lies have a devastating and corrupting effect, but the Truth can help people overcome those lies.
Jesus, the God-man: Gospel of John
“Blinded by Lies, Confronted by the Truth”
Introduction: “Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
As Jesus is taken to Pilate we will see the truth of those words written by Dostoyevsky. We will discover that lies have a devastating and corrupting effect in a person’s life to the point that they believe murder is acceptable, but we will also recognize the power of the Truth . Let’s examine the power of a lie and the impact of truth as we see those that are “blinded by lies, confronted by the Truth”.
1. Lies blind us to our spiritual condition.
John skips the farce of the trial before Caiphas and instead gives more information about Pilate and Jesus’ interaction.
“Praetorium” – Pilate’s house.
“early morning” – Probably around 5 or 6 AM.
Jews take Him to Pilate’s house but do not go in lest they become defiled from being in a Gentile’s house. There was nothing in the law about this, but had been added by men.
UNBELIEVABLE! They think they are clean from being defiled because they ritualistically avoided Gentiles while at the same time they are plotting the death of an innocent Man! Illegal trials, illegal abuse, and false testimonies are all part of their plot.
They are not afraid of violating God’s law, but their rituals.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all unclean-ness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:23-24, 27-28
Part of Passover was eliminating leaven which symbolized sin. They wanted to be able to continue to participate in Passover so they made sure they did not defile the outside while ignoring the evil intents of their heart.
Many today think that maintaining a ritual or following certain rules makes them clean. Say so many “Hail Marys” or “Our Fathers” or make sure you are baptized or put so much money in the offering makes you right before God.
This is the reason why people can say that a person is good while at the same time they are disobeying God and His Word.
That Christianity is worthless which makes us make up for the neglect of heart religion and practical holiness, by an extravagant zeal for man-made ceremonies or outward forms. –J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), Expository Thoughts on John
v. 29 – Pilate goes out on the balcony and asks, “What is the charge?” Oops. That ruined their plan because they just wanted a guilty verdict without a trial.
v. 30 – The problem is they found Him guilty of blasphemy which was not a Roman capital offense. So they just avoid the question and ask, “Do you think we would just bring an innocent man to you? Obviously He is an evildoer.” LIE!
v. 31 – Pilate wisely recognizes that the problem is not with Rome but with the Jews and he wants to pass the buck so he says, “Judge Him by your law.”
“We want Him dead and we can’t do that!” Aha! They have now shown their true colors and exposed a fulfilled prophecy which proves they are about to kill their Messiah.
Rome had passed a law about three year prior that said the Jews were no longer allowed to practice the death penalty which was by stoning.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; Genesis 49:10a
Genesis 49:10 said that the scepter would not pass out of Judah until Shiloh which means peace had come. The Jews no longer were in charge which means Messiah has arrived!
v. 32 – Scripture said Messiah would be crucified and not stoned hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented!
For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; Psalm 22:16
Jesus had already said twice (John 3:14 and 12:32-33) that He would be lifted up.
These men driven by lies are fulfilling Scripture and don’t even realize it.