John 18:36-40
John 18:36 (KJB)
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Hence - This place or here
Here Jesus is stating that He has no kingdom of a political nature in this world. If He did, then there would be a war against Rome to prevent Jesus from being delivered up to Rome by the Jews. This was giving proof to Pilate that Jesus was no threat to Rome by means of political or civil power. Pilate would have known full well what it was to take over a nation or area by force being a Roman leader, so maybe all of this talk of Jesus being a king without a kingdom on earth was perplexing to him. He would have been totally ignorant of spiritual things because the only thing he knew was to keep a nation under submission by force. Jesus was stating that He had a kingdom but it was not of this world and this would also have sounded strange to Pilate. Pilate was probably wondering about who he really had before him.
John 18:37 (KJB)
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Pilate has now deduced from the statement of Jesus that He was a king. Pilate would have thought of a kingship on a political level but the kingship of Jesus was one of a spiritual nature. Jesus tells Pilate that it is you that has declared me to be a king. Jesus was of the Davidic line and the long awaited Messiah. His kingship was in Heaven, a far greater place than small earth. Jesus was not a philosopher of which the Jews had many and also the Romans had their philosophers too. Like Greek philosophy, all philosophy coming from unbelievers is all tied to this world. The Lord then witnesses to Pilate and states that the reason He came into this world was to bear witness to the truth. The truth is not a philosophy nor is it a system. Truth is the stating of undeniable facts in total. Jesus came to bear witness of the truth that all those who the Father has given Him will come to Him for salvation. Jesus came in the midst of an idolatrous empire to a nation steeped in deception and lies to bring the truth. The light of the truth stamps out the darkness of deception. Those who are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ know that what He is proclaiming is the truth from God the Father. That is because true believers have the witness of the Holy Spirit in them and only then can the believer hear and understand the voice of God, which today is written for us in the Scriptures.
John 18:38 (KJB)
Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
Fault - Accusation, cause, or reason
Pilate asked Jesus the question of the ages, “What is truth?” This man, being a Governor and judge of legal matters had heard so many lies in his life, that he probably wondered what is truth and how do you recognize it? Along with all the lies he has encountered politically, there was also much idolatry with the false pantheon of Roman gods. So Pilate was surrounded by much falsehood and lived in it constantly. It looks like from this verse that Pilate was very impatient when he asked Jesus the question because immediately he went out to the Jews and told them that he found no cause or reason in this man to warrant putting Him to death. Here was truth standing right in front of Pilate and if he waited a few more seconds instead of going right out, he may have learned what truth was. On the last day when Pilate is resurrected, he will learn what truth is, but it will be too late.
John 18:39 (KJB)
But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
Pilate now wants to appease the crowds because he does not want anyone making a complaint against him directly to Caesar because it would cost him his position and maybe his life if he fails to keep order. So he now comes out to the Jews and tells them that they have a custom of releasing one prisoner at the time of Passover. Now this was not a custom found in the Hebrew Scriptures but this custom was one which was created by Caesar or the presiding Roman official in a certain area which was designed to win the affection of the people. So Pilate comes out and asks them if they want him to release Jesus? Pilate probably mentioned Jesus because he found no fault or reason to condemn Him to death and he was hoping the Jews would agree and drop this whole matter once and for all. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the prior week, He was shown to be very popular and Pilate was hoping that popularity would cause them to choose Jesus who was guilty of nothing but love.
John 18:40 (KJB)
Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
(Luke 23:18-19 KJV) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: {19} (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) The crowd cried out that they wanted Barabbas to be released instead of Jesus. They chose a thief and murderer over their long awaited Messiah. Back in the 1980’s the New York Times published an article stating that Jesus was never crucified but He was released. The name “Barabbas” means “son of the father” and the liberal anti-Christs stated that since Jesus was the Son of His Father, then the name Barabbas would be synonymous with Jesus. Maybe someone should ask the reporter at the New York Times, what is truth? So here the crowd chose Barabbas over Jesus. (Psa 50:18 KJV) When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. They fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 50:18. The word “consentedst” means to agree, approve, or delight. They agreed on Barabbas, approved his release, and delighted that a national hero was free.