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Devotional Day 2

Be Honest – Pontius Pilate – John 18:28-40

“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate.  Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’’ – John 18:37

The truth hurts. 

When a boy in high school told me that he thought my sister is prettier than I am, it hurt.  When I earned my first “B” in school (I remember it clearly), it hurt. When my parents told us they were splitting up, it hurt. When I received my first speeding ticket, it hurt – my pride and my insurance premium.  When I struck out the first time in softball, it hurt.  When I recently lost a job I loved, it hurt.  

There are also daily truths that can be painful – getting on the scale, taxes, trying on bathing suits, looking at a mirror with magnification at one’s wrinkles, and receiving an AARP postcard in the mail – even if it was for the previous owner.

It also hurts to tell the truth sometimes.  It hurt to tell my family that my father had passed away.  It hurt to tell a congregation we loved that we felt called to another one. It hurt to tell our kids when we hit a rough spot financially.  It hurt to tell my parents that we had miscarried a child – again.   

When Jesus went before Pilate, both men clearly understood the gravity of truth and the pain it could bring.

Pilate was attempting to preserve his position and not be the one to kill Jesus.  He wanted to save his job and avoid conflict with the religious leaders. He also wanted to please the crowd and allowed that to sway his decisions.

Jesus’ life was on the line, but He wanted truth to prevail, even if it meant his life.  


  • Read John 18:28-40.
  • How many questions does PIlate ask in these verses?
  • How many does Jesus ask?
  • How many statements does PIlate make in these verses?
  • How many does Jesus make?  What are they?

In sharp contrast to Pilate shying away from discomfort, Jesus leaned into it and spoke the truth.  The hard truth.  That His business came from a Higher Authority than Pilate will ever ascend to.  That He came for a purpose and the purpose was to “testify to the truth” – all the while, Pilate is just trying to save his own bacon by avoiding the truth.

  • Do you find it easy or hard to tell the truth?

  • How does Jesus treat Pilate?

  • What does this story tell us about the character of God?

  • If you had a friend who was struggling to level with someone and speak the truth in love, what advice might you give him/her?
  • In what area of your marriage do you most struggle with expressing the truth?

  • What can you glean from how Jesus interacted with Pilate to help you love and serve your spouse better?