Weekly Devotion – John 19:19-20
Published 10:54 pm Sunday, September 25, 2022
By Mike Caton
John 19:19-20, “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.”
It was common for the condemned to have a notice placed on their cross to explain what they had done. Crucifixion was a horrible means of capital punishment, and that was the point. The Romans wanted everyone to see what happened to you when you crossed them. And they wanted people to know what got those folks in those places. It was no doubt a deterrent. No one wanted to end up like those poor folks.
But it is very interesting what Pilate placed on Jesus’ cross, Jesus of Nazareth, The king of the Jews. And it was placed there in the all common languages of the day. Aramaic was the language the Jews spoke in their everyday lives. Hebrew has been mostly neglected since the exile, though it was still used in some religious settings. Latin was the official language of the Romans. And Greek was the language nearly everyone else in the world understood at this time, it being about like English today. Pilate wants everyone who passed by to know who this man was and what his crime was.
And shouldn’t that be what we want today, for everyone to know the truth about Jesus. And if you drive alone most any highway, you might see billboards advertising Jesus. But I wonder how many people see those and pull off the side of the road to read their Bibles or pray or phone a friend about becoming a Christian. I’m not saying they are bad, but there is a better way (I think) to evangelize. And that is when you and I talk to our friends and neighbors and tell them the good news. It is when we set positive examples of what it means to love the Lord and submit to him. It is when we invite people, not just to church, but into our lives, to dinner, to a ballgame, to go fishing, or whatever, so that we can show them the love that God has for us and for them. Who will you tell about Jesus today?
Father, help me spread the word. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.