Thou sayest - A common form of expression for, yes, it is so. I was born into the world that I might set up and maintain a spiritual government: but this government is established in and by truth. All that love truth, hear my voice and attend to the spiritual doctrines I preach. It is by truth alone that I influence the minds and govern the manners of my subjects.
Art thou a king then? - Dost thou admit the charge in any sense, or dost thou lay claim to a kingdom of any kind?
Thou sayest - This is a form of expression denoting affirmation. It is equivalent to yes.
That I am a king - This does not mean simply that Pilate affirmed that he was a king; it does not appear that he had done this; but it means, “Thou affirmest the truth; thou declarest what is correct, for I am a king.” I am a king in a certain sense, and do not deny it.
To this end - Compare John 3:11-12, etc. Jesus does not here affirm that he was born to reign, or that this was the design of his coming; but it was to bear witness to and to exhibit the truth. By this he showed what was the nature of his kingdom. It was not to assert power; not to collect armies; not to subdue nations in battle. It was simply to present truth to men, and to exercise dominion only by the truth. Hence, the only power put forth in restraining the wicked, in convincing the sinner, in converting the heart, in guiding and leading his people, and in sanctifying them, is that which is produced by applying truth to the mind. Men are not forced or compelled to be Christians. They are made to see that they are stoners, that God is merciful, that they need a Redeemer, and that the Lord Jesus is fitted to their case, and yield themselves then wholly to his reign. This is all the power ever used in the kingdom of Christ, and no men in his church have a right to use any other. Alas! how little have persecutors remembered this! And how often, under the pretence of great regard for the kingdom of Jesus, have bigots attempted by force and flames to make all men think as they do! We see here the importance which Jesus attached to truth. It was his sole business in coming into the world. He had no other end than to establish it. We therefore should value it, and seek for it as for hid treasures, Proverbs 23:23.
Every one - See John 8:47.sa40
In the judgment hall of Pilate, the Roman governor, Christ stands bound as a prisoner. About Him are the guard of soldiers, and the hall is fast filling with spectators. Just outside the entrance are the judges of the Sanhedrin, priests, rulers, elders, and the mob. DA 723.1
After condemning Jesus, the council of the Sanhedrin had come to Pilate to have the sentence confirmed and executed. But these Jewish officials would not enter the Roman judgment hall. According to their ceremonial law they would be defiled thereby, and thus prevented from taking part in the feast of the Passover. In their blindness they did not see that murderous hatred had defiled their hearts. They did not see that Christ was the real Passover lamb, and that, since they had rejected Him, the great feast had for them lost its significance. DA 723.2
When the Saviour was brought into the judgment hall, Pilate looked upon Him with no friendly eyes. The Roman governor had been called from his bedchamber in haste, and he determined to do his work as quickly as possible. He was prepared to deal with the prisoner with magisterial severity. Assuming his severest expression, he turned to see what kind of man he had to examine, that he had been called from his repose at so early an hour. He knew that it must be someone whom the Jewish authorities were anxious to have tried and punished with haste. DA 723.3Read in context »
For a short time vexation and confusion kept the priests silent. They did not wish the people to know that they had hired one of the professed followers of Jesus to betray Him into their hands. Their hunting Jesus like a thief and taking Him secretly, they wished to hide. But the confession of Judas, and his haggard, guilty appearance, exposed the priests before the multitude, showing that it was hatred that had caused them to take Jesus. As Judas loudly declared Jesus to be innocent, the priests replied, “What is that to us? see thou to that.” They had Jesus in their power, and were determined to make sure of Him. Judas, overwhelmed with anguish, threw the money that he now despised at the feet of those who had hired him, and, in anguish and horror, went and hanged himself. EW 172.1
Jesus had many sympathizers in the company about Him, and His answering nothing to the many questions put to Him amazed the throng. Under all the mockery and violence of the mob, not a frown, not a troubled expression, rested upon His features. He was dignified and composed. The spectators looked upon Him with wonder. They compared His perfect form and firm, dignified bearing with the appearance of those who sat in judgment against Him, and said to one another that He appeared more like a king than any of the rulers. He bore no marks of being a criminal. His eye was mild, clear, and undaunted, His forehead broad and high. Every feature was strongly marked with benevolence and noble principle. His patience and forbearance were so unlike man that many trembled. Even Herod and Pilate were greatly troubled at His noble, Godlike bearing. EW 172.2Read in context »
“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,” the apostle Paul writes, “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,” 2 Thessalonians 2:13. In this text the two agencies in the work of salvation are revealed—the divine influence, and the strong, living faith of those who follow Christ. It is through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth that we become laborers together with God. Christ waits for the co-operation of His church. He does not design to add a new element of efficiency to His word; He has done His great work in giving His inspiration to the word. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the divine word, are ours. The object of all this provision of heaven is before us—the salvation of the souls for whom Christ died; and it depends upon us to lay hold on the promises God has given, and become laborers together with Him. Divine and human agencies must co-operate in the work. CT 22.1
“Everyone that is of the truth,” Christ declared, “heareth My voice.” John 18:37. Having stood in the counsels of God, having dwelt in the everlasting heights of the sanctuary, all elements of truth were in Him and of Him. He was one with God. It means more than finite minds can comprehend to present in every missionary effort Christ and Him crucified. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. “He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Christ crucified for our sins; Christ risen from the dead; Christ ascended on high as our intercessor—this is the science of salvation that we need to learn and to teach. This is to be the burden of our work. CT 22.2Read in context »
Christ was the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He came to this earth to shed abroad the bright beams of truth, that men might gain a fitness for heaven. “For this cause came I into the world,” He declared, “that I should bear witness unto the truth.” John 18:37. He came to reveal the character of the Father, that men might be led to worship Him in spirit and in truth. CT 259.1
Man's need for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were aroused in behalf of human beings, fallen and bound to Satan's chariot car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the councils of heaven came to this earth as man's instructor. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world, and to meet the necessities of human nature He took humanity upon Himself. To the astonishment of the heavenly host the eternal Word came to this world as a helpless babe. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts and mysteriously allied Himself with fallen human beings. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:14. CT 259.2
When Christ left His high command, He might have taken upon Him any condition in life that He chose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He chose the most humble walk of life. No luxury, ease, or self-gratification came into His experience. The truth of heavenly origin was to be His theme; He was to sow the world with truth, and He lived in such a way as to be accessible to all. CT 259.3Read in context »
Jesus knew that whatever was presented that was out of harmony with what He came to earth to unfold, was false and delusive. But He said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.” Having stood in the counsels of God, having dwelt in the everlasting heights of the sanctuary, all elements of truth were in Him, and of Him; for He was one with God. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”—The Review and Herald, December 1, 1891. FE 190.1Read in context »
“The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,”—to those who are not self-sufficient, but who are willing to learn. What was the work of the God-given messenger to our world? The only-begotten Son of God clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to our world as a teacher, an instructor, to reveal truth in contrast with error. Truth, saving truth, never languished on His tongue, never suffered in His hands, but was made to stand out plainly and clearly defined amid the moral darkness prevailing in our world. For this work He left the heavenly courts. He said of Himself, “For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” The truth came from His lips with freshness and power, as a new revelation. He was the way, the truth, and the life. His life, given for this sinful world, was full of earnestness and momentous results; for His work was to save perishing souls. He came forth to be the True Light, shining amid the moral darkness of superstition and error, and was announced by a voice from heaven, proclaiming, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And at His transfiguration this voice from heaven was again heard, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” FE 405.1
“Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” Christ brought to our world a certain knowledge of God, and to all who received and obeyed His word, gave He power to become the sons of God. He who came forth from God to our world gave instruction on every subject about which it is essential that man should know in order to find the pathway to heaven. To Him, truth was an ever-present, self-evident reality; He uttered no suggestions, advanced no sentiments, notions, or opinions, but presented only solid, saving truth. FE 405.2Read in context »
In Him was found the perfect ideal. To reveal this ideal as the only true standard for attainment; to show what every human being might become; what, through the indwelling of humanity by divinity, all who received Him would become—for this, Christ came to the world. He came to show how men are to be trained as befits the sons of God; how on earth they are to practice the principles and to live the life of heaven.—Education, 73, 74. RC 340.7Read in context »
20, 21 (Matthew 25:14, 15; Mark 13:34). Unity in Diversity—[John 17:20, 21 quoted.] What kind of unity is spoken of in these words?—Unity in diversity. Our minds do not all run in the same channel, and we have not all been given the same work. God has given to every man his work according to his several ability. There are different kinds of work to be done, and workers of varied capabilities are needed. If our hearts are humble, if we have learned in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly, we may all press together in the narrow path marked out for us (Manuscript 52, 1904). 5BC 1148.1
20-23. No Destruction of Personality—Christ is one with the Father, but Christ and God are two distinct personages. Read the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John, and you will find this point clearly brought out. How earnestly the Saviour prayed that His disciples might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. But the unity that is to exist between Christ and His followers does not destroy the personality of either. They are to be one with Him as He is one with the Father (The Review and Herald, June 1, 1905). 5BC 1148.2
[John 17:20-23 quoted.] What a wonderful statement! The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. In mind, in purpose, in character, they are one, but not in person. By partaking of the Spirit of God, conforming to the law of God, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ brings His disciples into a living union with Himself and with the Father. Through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind, man is made complete in Christ Jesus. Unity with Christ establishes a bond of unity with one another. This unity is the most convincing proof to the world of the majesty and virtue of Christ, and of His power to take away sin (Manuscript 111, 1903). 5BC 1148.3
24 (see EGW on ch. 20:16, 17). According to Covenant Promise—O, how the divine Head longed to have His church with Him! They had fellowship with Him in His suffering and humiliation, and it is His highest joy to have them with Him to be partakers of His glory. Christ claims the privilege of having His church with Him. “I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” To have them with Him is according to covenant promise and agreement with His Father (The Review and Herald, October 17, 1893). 5BC 1148.4Read in context »
Christ's conscious superiority, even as He descended step by step in the path of humiliation, gave His words an amazing power. What lessons of instruction He gave, and with what authority He rebuked the sins of men in high position. Truth was truth to Him, and it never suffered in His hands; for He was the author of truth. “To this end,” He says, “was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” ... He was the embodiment of truth and holiness. He who had stood in the councils of God, who had dwelt in the innermost sanctuary of the Eternal, was speaking that whereof He knew.... But the men who claimed to stand high in knowledge and spiritual understanding failed to comprehend His meaning; and that which had been evolved from eternity by the Father and the Son, they in their ignorance stood as critics to condemn. SD 26.2
Christ crucified is ever drawing souls to Him. On the other hand, Satan is drawing them away from Christ, that they may not walk in the light of His countenance, that they may not see Christ in His goodness and mercy, His infinite compassion and unsurpassed love. He intercepts himself by presenting the attractions of worldly inducements, that God in Christ may not be discerned. But Christ came that whosoever will believe in Him may be saved. As a flower turns to the sun that its bright rays may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should Christ's followers turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven's light may shine upon them, perfecting their characters, and giving them a deep and abiding experience in the things of God. It is beyond our power to conceive the blessings that are brought within our reach through Christ, if we will but unite our human effort with divine grace.58The Youth's Instructor, September 22, 1898. SD 26.3Read in context »