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The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" (Jn. 18:33b-37) On this feast day of Christ the King, John's gospel opens with Pilate on a fact-finding mission. Determined to find out who Jesus is, Pilate asks Jesus bluntly, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus, using wisdom, turns the table and does what our parents or a teacher often says, "Don't answer a question with a question." You would think that Jesus wanted to accommodate Pilate on his quest. Did Jesus refuse to answer Pilate's question because he felt that answering the question would not solve the real problem? In actuality, the real problem lies in Pilate's lap, along with others who fail to believe in the works of Jesus. The gospel writer, John, alluded to this issue twice as Jesus said, "...believe the works, [of Jesus] so that they may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father" (Jn. 10:38; 14:10). For this reason, Pilate continued his witch-hunt by asking another ridiculous question, "What have you done?" trying to find Jesus' identity. Briefly, let's review the works of Jesus in John's gospel to find out what Jesus did. Jesus:

  1. came to dwell among humanity;

  2. turned water into wine at the wedding feast;

  3. brought light to Nicodemius's life;

  4. told a woman everything she did at a well;

  5. healed a man sitting at a pool on the Sabbath;

  6. fed 5000 men and women with five loaves and two fish;

  7. invited everyone to drink rivers of living water;

  8. uncovered the hypocrisy of men ready to stone a woman;

  9. healed a blind man; and

  10. protected His flock from the thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy.

And if that was not enough, Jesus raised a dead man, washed the dirty feet of the disciples and his murderer, invited everyone to his Father's house that had plenty of good room, and prayed to the Father, asking that we would be one in him as Jesus was with the Father. Pilate had his issues. I am sure he heard at least one of the works of Jesus before his arrest. What about us? What more do we need to believe that Jesus is King, or are we in that group that John talked about who did not believe in the works of Jesus? Who is Christ the King to you? What has Jesus done for you? King David, the psalmist, asked a similar question, "Who is this King of glory?" (Ps. 24:8) The difference in the psalmist's question when compared to Pilate's is that the psalmist knows the answer to his question. In the second half of verse eight, David tells us, "The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in war" (Ps. 24:8). Here David speaks for himself. He knows what the Lord has done for him amid battles and other personal challenges. David talks truthfully about what he knows about the King of glory. Therefore, reflecting on Christ the King, thank God for the many works of Jesus in your life, family, and friends. And remember these words, "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice" (Jn. 18:37). Jesus' works testify to the truth that he is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Author: Evangelist Michael Howard, MACS


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