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“What is truth?” asked Pilate of Jesus… but Jesus never answered him. [John 18.38]  No, Jesus showed him, for the answer to Pilate’s question lays not in words, but in deeds.  Jesus answered this question of Pilate by the way He chose not to take up Pilate’s offer of clemency but to go onto the cross.  It was the actions of Jesus that caused Pilate to see and write the truth about Jesus – The King of the Jews. [Matthew 27.37; Mark 15.26; Luke 23.38; John 19.19 The Testimony]  For Jesus made no claim to be the King of the Jews, but merely that, yes, He is a King, but from another place.  However, the way the Jews were so insistent on getting Jesus crucified showed Pilate that there was more to the situation than what was being played out before him.

Jesus had not defended Himself before Pilate nor refuted the accusations against Himself.  It was as if He refused to allow His accusers to be shown for the conspirators and liars that they were before a Roman governor.  He would rather die as a result of their accusations than allow a Roman the privilege of proving that the Jews were murderous liars.  His profound loyalty to those who were accusing Him made Pilate see that indeed Jesus is the King of the Jews.  What He was doing was a refusal to bring shame on His own people, but to glorify them before a Roman, showing them to be zealous for their law and God, knowing that Pilate would be none the wiser.

Pilate did not know who sent Jesus, but in Pilate’s eyes, whoever sent Jesus can be proud of His conduct.  Since Jesus was to Pilate a Galilean, then to Pilate Jesus was a Jew… and the One who could have sent Jesus must be the God of the Jews.  The actions of Jesus before Pilate brought glory to the One who sent Him.  Pilate himself, being a Roman governor, would well be aware of behaving in such a way as to ensure that the emperor who sent him was honoured and glorified.  That was why he pleaded for Jesus before the Jews, telling them that he had rightly found nothing wrong with Jesus.  Pilate himself was not going to let the lynch mob drag the reputation of Rome’s application of Roman law and justice down.  Had Jesus led an insurrection against Rome, Pilate would have been merciless, for that is after all Roman law.  However, he was not going to participate in an execution that was not justified under Roman law.

So, Pilate himself knew what truth was… he just wanted to see if Jesus knew.  And when Jesus honoured the One who sent Him by keeping His silence, Pilate saw the King that is in Jesus, and it allowed him to write the truth about Jesus – Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews. [Matthew 27.37; Mark 15.26; Luke 23.38; John 19.19 The Testimony]

Truth is not a word or a fact that one has discovered.  Rather, it is a work that one has done for the glory and honour of the one who sent him.  For if a man of truth is one who works for the glory and honour of the one who sent him, then truth is that which is produced by such a man.  For it is by works that a man of truth is determined, not by speech or faith or parameters… but rather, by that which he has applied himself to do.

For a man of truth, truth is what he is doing to glorify the one who sent him.  It is not yet established like a fact is, but rather, it is being done and brought forth at that moment.  Likewise then, the Holy Spirit whom Jesus introduced to the eleven as the Spirit of truth is who He is because of what He does for the glory and honour of the One who sent Him.

The unbelief, the disobedience and the delay were already established truths by the time the disciples were all together again on the day of Pentecost.  It would serve no purpose for the Lord not to come upon them, for after all it was the sacrifice of Jesus which allowed the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit did not happen because Peter and the others believed and obeyed the messages, but rather, the sending out of the Holy Spirit from the Father to all flesh was because of Jesus.  As such, the Holy Spirit had to come regardless, but He did not have to do everything that Jesus said He would do because He is the Spirit of truth.  It would not give the Lord any glory or honour for the eleven to be entrusted with any more miraculous power.  Even though it would look as though Jesus had lied when He said that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and nothing happened, it was still far better than to allow the Lord to be made a fool by those who cannot be trusted to believe and obey.

As such, when you understand and realise the truth about the disciples, that is when you see the Holy Spirit for the Spirit of truth that He is… working for the honour and glory of the One who sent Him.  Coming as He was sent, but withholding the promised power unless there were disciples who actually could be trusted and who believed, and more importantly, who were honest enough to admit to their lapses of faith.  Sent to prepare the world for the return of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit has never left… even though no one has listened to Him.  He who was not prepared to contend with men for more than 120 years during the days of Noah, has contended with men for more than 2,000 Julian and Gregorian years, all because of Jesus.  This patient endurance of the Holy Spirit despite our failures so that Jesus would find more than faith when He arrives, is what makes the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth.

He wants to present the Lord with the truth when He arrives… that is, works that have been done for His glory and His honour.  Works that show the truth of the grace that has come through the Name of Jesus… which has allowed Him and caused Him, the Spirit, to put up with the church as He has.  The grace the Lord has shown to the unbelieving, the disobedient and those who delay Him attenuates the grace afforded to sinners because of Jesus.  And so, His forbearance with us brings glory to Jesus even when those whom Jesus gave Him were such unbelievers and disobedient.

The Holy Spirit has salvaged glory for Jesus despite us.  And that is Him as the Spirit of grace, waiting for the opportunity to finally be the Spirit of truth.  When we acknowledge our sins and the truth about ourselves as His disciples, then the Lord can do His works of truth as the Spirit of truth.  Those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches will understand how Pilate heard the truth from Jesus in the actions of Jesus.

The tolerance of the Holy Spirit to our insults and slander to Him is like the tolerance of Jesus to the insults and blows from the Jews.  As it was for Jesus, so it was for the Lord.  They were His own who slandered and disowned Him when they wrote:  It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us… in the letter from the council of Jerusalem. [Acts 15.28]

But now, when He can find one and ones whose jealousy for Him causes them to cry out, “Enough!” as the Father did, He will show the church and the world what Jesus meant when He said, “…the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father…” [John 15.26] through those who believe, who obey and who do not seek to delay Him with their (fishing) plans.

He (she) who has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying will cry as the Father cried out, “Enough!” [2 Samuel 24.16; 1 Chronicles 21.15] but this time it will not be to stay the hand of an angel, but to unleash the host of angels.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Factory

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NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com

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