Saturday, November 21, 2015

Examination before the Witness to the Truth

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 22, 2015

John 18:33-37

Within the trial at which Jesus' execution will be decided, the gospel of John offers a surprising private dialogue between Pilate, a representative of the most powerful empire on Earth, and Jesus, a handcuffed inmate who appears as a witness to the truth.

Pilate apparently wants to know precisely the truth that lies in this strange character he has before his throne. "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus responds by exposing his truth in two fundamental assertions, very dear to the evangelist John.

"My kingdom is not of this world." Jesus isn't king in the way Pilate might imagine. He doesn't aim to occupy the throne of Israel or dispute Tiberius' imperial power. Jesus doesn't belong to this system in which the prefect from Rome moves, supported by injustice and lies. He doesn't lean on the force of weapons. He has a completely different base. His kingship comes from God's love for the world.

But then he adds something very important, "I am king...and I have come into the world to testify to the truth." He wants to exercise his kingship in this world, but in a surprising way. He hasn't come to rule like Tiberius but to be a "witness to the truth", introducing God's love and justice into human history.

The truth that Jesus brings with him isn't a theoretical doctrine. It's a call that can change people's lives. Jesus had said it, "If you remain in my word...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus is a unique experience since it leads to knowing a liberating truth, capable of making our life more human.

Jesus Christ is the only truth we Christians are allowed to live on.

Don't we in Jesus' Church need to make a collective examination of conscience before the "Witness to the Truth"? Dare to discern with humility what's true and what's false in our following of Jesus? Where there is liberating truth and where there are lies that enslave us? Don't we need to take steps towards greater levels of human gospel truth in our lives, our communities, and our institutions?

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