Born For This Purpose
37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “ You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?
If there is a more tense or peculiar exchange in all of scripture than John’s account of Jesus before Pilate, I cannot imagine what it might be. They both knew why Jesus was there, and both knew what the outcome would be. Yet rather than discussing it openly, they both understood that the pretext of trial and a defense must be honored if Jesus was to be crucified.
If you have any doubt as to whether or not both men understood what was going to happen, you need not look any further than Pilate’s response in verse 38. Truth, to him, was relative, and ultimately irrelevant in service to the “greater good” of keeping peace.
But Jesus’ response is no less nuanced; brought by lawless hands before Pilate, He gives the Governor an answer that could, in fact, assure that Pilate could be justified in putting Him to death without a second thought. “I have been born for this purpose, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”
In our present distress, when truth to so many is relative, and appeasement to avoid conflict is the rule of the day, even the most steadfast Christian might find himself perplexed, overwhelmed, and wondering how these things came to be. Things have grown undeniably darker, and yet I wonder if it’s possible to gain some measure of reassurance?
We Are Born For THIS Purpose
When Jesus answered Pilate, was He saying He had been born a king, born to die, born to testify of the truth? Was He telling Pilate that things were happening that Pilate did not understand, and would not understand and that a power greater than all the might of Rome was working? In short, Yes.
Might I suggest that we also were born for this purpose, and for times such as these? (Esther 4:9-14) We’ve been witness to a great many upheavals, as principalities lurch further from truth in order to appease the godless. Perhaps we’ve wondered why God would allow such things to come to pass, or how long He will continue to allow our nation, or world, to stand? Whatever God decides is His place and not ours, but rest assured we have been called for times such as these.
James would say “count it all joy (James 1:1-4),” and Peter would speak of our faith being perfected in the fire of the refiner ultimately proving “more precious than gold. (1 Peter 1:3-9)” In fact Peter would even go onto say that this is exactly the purpose that we have been called to, as we are Christ’s royal priesthood, holy nation, and chosen generation. (1 Peter 2:9-20) I hope you’ll take the time to read those passages before continuing, because now more than ever, they reassure us that we are not, as the Hebrew writer boldly proclaims, those who will shrink back to perdition. (Hebrews 10:39)
21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously
Our purpose is to give an answer to a world that will likely not receive it, and to give that answer in such a way that God and Christ are glorified in our lives and before a world that wants to see us break.
14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
If Christianity was made for times such as these, is it possible that it could even thrive? Unequivocally yes.
If we remain unhindered spiritually by what the world does to us, they will notice. If our faith thrives when others are working to silence us, they will see. If our conviction remains steadfast when under assault, some will admire. If we continue to speak the truth in love when we are only answered in hate, some will, at last, hear.
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Our struggles are not unique to our time. In fact it is in times like these that the church has always flourished, but only when her members remain steadfast in the faith. What does this mean for the daily life of God’s child today?
Live peacefully—Romans 12:18
Do not be overcome by evil—Romans 12:21
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad—Matthew 5:11
Let your light shine—Matthew 5:13-16
We were born for times such as these.