Weekly Devotion – John 19:13-14

Published 11:42 am Thursday, September 15, 2022

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By Mike Caton

John 19:13-14, “When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. ‘Here is your king,’ Pilate said to the Jews.”

Pilate and Jesus have gone in and out of the palace a couple of times, in verse 8 they have gone back inside. Pilate wanted to ask Jesus more questions, and that was better done in private, I suppose. When Jesus was brought out to the crowd, after his beating, it was no doubt to draw their sympathy and compassion out. Pilate seemed to think if they saw this innocent man, beaten to within an inch of his life, they might think that was enough. But the crowd was not to be satisfied so easily.

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And that is what Pilate is doing here again, letting the Jewish leaders see the beaten, broken and innocent man. Here is your king, he tells them. No one would think Jesus looked very royal here. No one could see him as a threat. No one could see him as a king, a troublemaker or anything else, really. I have in my mind’s eye a picture of Jesus from the movie, The Passion, where Jesus has been beaten, his face swollen from the abuse, blood running down, dried and caked to his face and body. In this shape, Jesus was a threat to no one. And yet the Jewish leaders are unmoved.

What does it take to move us, you and me? We see images every day that are designed to produce a certain response in us. We see dramatic pictures of car crashes, the aftermath of a tragic shooting, a building collapse, images from a war zone, mistreatment of certain groups of people. We are supposed to be outraged by them. But if we open our eyes and look around us, we can see things that ought to break our heart right next to us. A child sitting alone at school, a single parent struggling to get by, a shut-in who is lonely, anyone who is mistreated, someone who simply needs a hug or an encouraging word. Those things ought to move us as well. And the key word being move, we need to reach out to those folks, we need to do something. It is amazing to me how the simplest act of kindness can so improve someone’s day. And I have found, too, when you bless others, you get a blessing yourself. But we have to be willing to see and we have to be willing to act.

Father, help me see folks as you see them, and help me minister to them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.