“Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asks. Jesus answers with a question. (We have noted many times this frequent tactic of Jesus.) ”Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?” Pilate uses the same tactics and answers with another question. “Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me.” And another question. ”What have you done?”
Jesus explains that this kingdom is not of this world. He has no army to prevent him being surrendered to the Jews. His kingdom is not of this kind. He is no threat to Caesar.
The questions continue. “So you are a king then?” There is no longer time for questions. Jesus answers Pilate. “It is you who say it. Yes I am a king. I was born for this. I came into the world for this; to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice”.
We study the gospel of John always looking for the irony. The thirsty woman at the well met the living water. The man born blind could see whereas the Sanhedrin were totally blind to a miracle. Pilate passes judgement on the King of heaven and Earth! And yet it is judgement that is passed on Pilate.
Going past today’s reading to verse 13 we read: “Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement…..” Does John leave us with the thought that Pilate is the judge or maybe Jesus is the Judge? This is the irony of John. The accused becomes the judge and the judge becomes the accused.
Thank God we have the chance to hear the whole passage in Holy Week. Today we emphasis the true majesty of Jesus as we end the liturgical year. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega.