Thirty-Seventh Day of Lent

Scripture: John 18: 12-40 

What controls us? Do we need one more dollar? Do we need just a little more time in front of the mirror before we head out the door? Do we need to have everything just right in our home? What controls us?

These are difficult questions, because we are good at justifying our possessions and habits. And most of the time our justifications are rational. We don’t spend frivolously. We are good stewards of what we have. Our habits don’t control us. We balance our time. We have thought about these matters in light of Scripture and we have even discussed these important questions with our spouses or our families or maybe even our pastors.  And all of this ... is good.

Yet deep down we still ask the question. What controls us?

Then Pilate entered the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ ... ‘Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’

Pontius Pilate, the Roman official, is always moving. He goes out. He enters his headquarters. He goes out again. He enters again. He goes out again. On and on, Pilate is trying to solve the mystery of Jesus, and he is trying to find the right place to stand, he is trying to position himself in relation to Jesus. He wants to know that he has done the right thing. He hopes he can justify his actions to the higher ups. He is afraid. He doesn’t know where to stand on the Jesus issue, and so he is moving back and forth, hoping to find safe ground.

Jesus doesn’t answer his questions, at least not in any satisfying way for Pilate. Pilate must decide, he must stop moving and find a place to stand. In the end the place he chooses to stand is crucifixion.

What controls us? Are you the King? We ask the same questions as Pilate.  It feels as if we are rushing back and forth looking for a safe place to stand.  What controls us?

But, God invites us to lay down our questions, invites us to let go and be free of all the other kings in our life, invites us to stop moving, and invites us to listen to His Son.

Steve Menshenfriend
Blackstrap Covenant Church
Dundurn, SK