"Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Jesus - John 18:37
When Jesus completed His prayer of intercession, He led His disciples to a garden where He often spent time in prayer. There He was arrested by a party of Roman soldiers and Jewish officers, accompanied by Judas. They took Him to the home of the Jewish high priest for questioning. It was there that Peter denied Him. After the rooster crowed, they dragged Jesus before the Roman governor for sentencing.
Pilate, the Roman governor, posed one of the most profound question ever asked, "What is truth?" With The Answer to his question standing right in front of him, Pilate was unable to see and hear The Truth. He was so close, and yet so far away from "The Way, The Truth and The Life." (John 14:6)
Pilate offered to release a prisoner to the people, and they chose a notorious bandit named Barabbas. He was in prison for leading a riot in the city, and the people called for him to be freed. Jesus was not surprised by the decision of either, Pilate or the people. He was the only one who truly knew what was going on, then. He is still the only one who knows what is going on, now.
Prayer is how we allow the voice of Jesus to guide us through the crisis. This is powerfully important to remember. When chaos, confusion, and calamity are the ruling forces of the current crisis in your life, Jesus is still the only one who knows what is truly going on around you. The truth remains. "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." (John 18:17)
Our tendency, in reading this passage of Scripture is to judge Pilate and the people harshly for not listening to the voice of Jesus, when He stood face to face with them. Hindsight is 20/20 especially when we are pointing out where someone else missed the mark.
In spite of the promises Jesus made to send us The Helper, and His promise to never leaves us or forsake us, we often sound more like Thelma and Louise flying off a cliff, than Paul and Silas praying in prison. Sad, but true.
The over-riding demeanor of Jesus in John 18 is calm in the midst of the storm. Jesus is never surprised by what people do or the events that unfold around them. He has never had to pull out His shock-face, and make a made dash in a panic search for truth. He is the truth, and He always knows how the crisis is going to end.
Those who hear His voice, do not always follow Him. Jesus said, "Follow Me!" Some did. Some didn't. Some will. Some won't. The problem is not with His voice. He still speaks. Some people just never listen.
Those of of who claim to be followers of "The Way, The Truth and The Life" should make a practice of listening to the voice of Jesus, during the calm and in the crises of life. The more we talk, the more cliffs we find, and the louder we squeal. The more we pray, the clearer the path becomes, and calmer we become.
The crises of life do not overwhelm us because Jesus has stopped speaking to us. They throw us into confusion because we have stopped listening to Him, and taken refuge in our own advice. This never ends well. What is our choice? Remember...
"Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Jesus
Prayer is how we take take our crisis and put it in the hands of Jesus. Only He can make sense out of all the lies and deception thrown in our faces, by the enemy. When you are intimidated by the immediate crisis, bullied by the chaos around you, and deafened by the accusations of the enemy, listen to the voice of Jesus.
When Roman generals returned from a great victory, The Senate would vote to give them a Triumph. It was a parade of honor through the streets of Rome. The troops would march in front of the conquering general, as adoring crowds would shower the victor's chariot with flowers and gifts. Walking along side of the general, a slave would repeat over and over again in the ear of the hero, "This too shall pass." It was an eery reminder that flame was fleeting.
On the other hand, when we pray, we turn defeat into a triumph. The Spirit of Jesus Christ, who dwells within us, brings His comfort, and courage, at the point of our greatest defeat or deepest shame. When what we fear the most is staring us in the face, The Spirit says to us, "This too shall pass." Stop chasing fame, and fearing shame.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!