Episode 9. Pilate meets Jesus
Pilate's quest for information as he meets the Truth, John 18:38
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This scene provides a contrast between the two authorities in life: The Authority of God versus The Authority of Man.
Pilate was the representative of the Roman Empire, the invading force, in Jerusalem. He held the power to sentence Christ to death.
Yet, Christ, the representative of God’s kingdom on Earth, truly held the power over life and death.
Christ’s authority superseded Pilates and was demonstrated by not needing to defend himself to Pilate.
Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting.” Jesus references his claim to divinity here as well as to his ultimate power as the Son of God.
Christ also says “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth.” Christ reaffirms his purpose in coming to Earth.
Christ’s statement that he came into the world “to bear witness to the truth” echoes his claim in John 14:6, “I am the Truth, the Way, and the Light.” Christ did not just claim to be a great teacher. He instead came to be the source of Truth and Light and the only Way.
Questions to reflect upon:
- How is Christ’s kingdom different that earthly kingdoms?
- Pilate responds to Christ, “What is truth?” How would you answer that question?
- Writer C. S. Lewis said of Christ that his claims were so extraordinary that Jesus was either a “liar,” a “lunatic,” or “Lord?” How were Christ’s claims extraordinary?
- Judas called Christ only “teacher.” How does this title not truly reflect Christ’s own claims about himself?
Episode 10. Ananias & Paul
Ananias' call to forgive and anoint his oppressor, Acts 9:10-22
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Ananias responds to Christ with the statement, “Here I am,” echoing the replies of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah and others when God called them.
The healing of Saul’s physical blindness also demonstrates that his spiritual blindness was healed.
Baptism is a public declaration of a private choice. Saul’s decision to be baptized immediately was important because he was publicly declaring his change of heart and life. He had previously declared publicly his hatred for Christians.
God uses us to spread his love. He used Ananias, an individual personally affected by Saul’s campaign against Christians, to demonstrate forgiveness and love to Saul.
Questions to reflect upon:
- How difficult was it for Ananias to go to Saul, a man known for hunting and killing Christians?
- How, prior to his conversion, was Saul spiritually blind?
- When were you spiritually blind? What is the difference between now and then?
- Why do you think God chose an individual personally hurt by Saul’s prior actions to be the vehicle of forgiveness and love to Saul?