Answers to BSF Bible Study Questions John Lesson 25 Day 4
9. Pilate said to Jesus, “What is truth?”
Pilate didn’t wait for Jesus to answer his rhetorical question. What a missed opportunity! If he only realized that before him stood the only man who could answer that much-debated question.
Pilate could have pardoned Jesus altogether, but he caved into the pressure, even after his wife sent him a warning message saying,
“Distance yourself utterly from the proceedings against this righteous man. I have had a dream about Him, a dream full of twisted sufferings—He is innocent, I know it, and we should have nothing to do with Him.” (Matthew 27:19 Voice)
It’s amazing to me that he didn’t pay more attention to his wife’s message.
It seems Pilate’s heart wasn’t completely hardened toward Jesus because he hoped the Jews “would spare Jesus” and tried to persuade them to pardon him. In this way, God extended another opportunity for the Jews to repent.
Barabbas was accused of at least three crimes: Theft (John 18:40), insurrection (Mark 15:7), and murder (Mark 15:7).
(Ironically, Barabbas means “son of the father” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon) The Jews crucified the true Son of the Father.)
Pilate realized that jealousy was behind the Jewish leaders’ hatred. Instead of doing the right thing, he gave into the Jews because (as some believe) he needed them on his side.
10. I’ve blurred the lines between questions 9 and 10.
As a Roman prefect, “Pontius Pilate was granted the power of a supreme judge…But, perhaps, his most crucial responsibility was that of maintaining law and order.” (Link) A rebellion or insurrection among those he governed would certainly make him look bad.
Pilate’s attention remained on the impatient mob of Jews waiting outside for his verdict. Jesus didn’t act like a rebel, he seemed harmless, and he certainly didn’t look like a king. Pilate needed to maintain peace in his province, so he offered the Jews a compromise—their king—to get himself out of this dilemma.
(Pilate) knew Jesus wasn’t guilty, and that the only reason the Jews had accused Him was because of their jealousy of Him (Matthew 27:18 and Mark 15:10). But Pilate didn’t want to expose the Pharisees as hypocrites. He needed them and their cooperation to rule in Jerusalem. So he thought that surely they would want Jesus released instead of a common thief. But Pilate misjudged the religious Jews’ hatred of Jesus. And his compromise forced him into a decision he knew was wrong. (Andrew Wommack)
Weak—“Like all weak men, he was not easy in his conscience, and made a futile attempt to get the right thing done, yet not suffer for doing it.” (Maclaren)
Unwise and undiscerning—Why did he think the Jews would ask him to pardon Jesus because he was their king? That’s one of the charges they brought against him. When they asked for Barabas, he agreed to release a truly dangerous criminal.
To appease the Jews, he said, ‘I’ll see to it that he is properly whipped and then let Him go.”
Prejudiced toward Jews—The Romans looked down on the Jews and probably despised them.
No amount of public or private hand-washing could remove Pilate’s guilt. However, if the historians who say Pilate later became a Christian are correct, then Jesus’ own blood washed Pilate’s hands of all the innocent blood he ever shed.
(I hope I answered both questions. I’ve been at it for two days now and I can’t seem to sort it out. Time to move on.)
11. God speaks in unusual ways.
My answer is general in nature so I don’t bring up any topics that BSF might consider controversial.
The unspiritual mind incorrectly interprets, wrongly assumes, and ignores spiritual things. Others have done the same and taught me their misconceptions. The blind lead the blind and we both fall into a pit. (Matthew 15:14) Although the blind refers to unbelievers, once we believe, we play a part in the renewal process.
Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.
Renewing means, “be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes]” (AMP)
I asked the Holy Spirit to help me read scripture with enlightened sight as if I was reading it for the first time.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 MSG)
Instead of mechanically reading the Bible every day, I determined to be more open-minded and receive the word with enthusiasm. (Acts 17:11) I tried to read as if it was the first time.
I’ve also learned the Holy Spirit speaks to me in others ways that are easily ignored because of my expectations or pride, such as through a child or my dad who has dementia. So far, God hasn’t resorted to speaking through a donkey. (Numbers 22:21-39)
If only I’d discovered BSF sooner. It has taught me how to study. The commitment to post my answers here also pushes me into the deep end.
MY answers — not THE answers — to BSF study questions on John Lesson 25 Day 4 ~ John 18:38-19:17