John 18:33-37 (NRSV)
Verse 33Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Verse 34Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Verse 35Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Verse 36Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Verse 37Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. 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."
The scene before us is almost comical. Pilate thinks he’s in charge, but he keeps running back and forth between the religious leaders and Jesus as he wrestles with what to do. As readers we wonder: Who’s in charge, anyway, the “power people,” or Jesus? John is ironically reminding us that the real power is Jesus. In a meditation on Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” my brother once shared an experience that happened some years ago. On a sabbatical, he canoed down the Minnesota river. That summer there had been a lot of rain, so his maps weren’t accurate. He came to a junction in the river, but he didn’t know which way to go. So he just sat there in the canoe and prayed. As he sat praying he became aware that the river had a current that was taking him in the right direction. Is that not true for us? God is a current that will take us where the Spirit is leading us.
O God, in the midst of our effort and thinking, remind us that sometimes “Easy does it.” Amen.