John 18 testimony part 2 and 3.
Second, “Jesus before the high priest.” The high priest represented authentic worship. He represented the mainstream and authority. Usually standing before him, people would think that they did something wrong, but Jesus had no fear because he did everything in the light. I want to have Jesus’ confidence. Last summer I did SOAR, but toward the very end, an employee at the student union tried to stop me as I invited a Jewish girl to our Bible study. At that time, I did not know how to respond to the employee and thought I was doing something wrong, so I quickly slipped away. But later I learned that she thought I was asking people to sign a petition. As I thought about it, actually I could have told the person that I was inviting people to Bible study, because I had nothing to hide.
Since then, I have never invited people in secret or taught people at some corners; I always serve God’s work in the light. Sometimes I have to speak loudly so that the student can hear me and understand my point. If anyone wants to come to Bible study, I always welcome them without hesitation. I never try to avoid anyone even if they respond terribly.
One time I was fishing on campus, and one person replied, “You guys always target one person who is alone, right?” His view was very dark. So, in anger, from that day on, I started to fish groups, not only talking to people one at a time but inviting the whole basketball team. People’s view is very dark, and even many believers are like that. Only light can overcome darkness. When I walk in the light, maybe people are scared at first, but in the end, they will see who I am and why I am here, and they can have a chance to enjoy the light too.
Third, “Jesus before Pilate.” Jesus says, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Wow! I am tearing up just by typing these words down. Jesus was so powerful even when facing a governor of the Roman Empire. People live a miserable life, generation after generation; they do so many bad things just to survive. They become corrupt, going crazy and sinning greatly against God. Jesus knows why they are like that – because they do not know the truth. So for the sake of making the truth known to all those who are suffering, wandering and searching in the world, he stood before Pilate and went to the cross boldly.
I was one of these people. After trying so many things, I was suffering deeply from the sense of meaninglessness, emptiness and hopelessness. I was wandering, even wandering across the Pacific Ocean to America. I was still searching, but nothing could give me real substance, real lasting joy and happiness. It seemed that the only way of life was, “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” So I gave into all kinds of sinful desires. Because of great burdens, I developed many gray hairs. But when I first saw how Jesus behaved in this passage, I was blown away.
First, I saw who he was. He is a king, not only a king, but the king of kings. I was deeply attracted to his glory. Wow! He’s so cool. He is cooler than anyone I’ve ever met, and I only read and learned about him in the Bible. What if I was there seeing the whole thing? It would be so great! When I studied this passage, one desire arose in my heart: “I want him to be my king.” I was sick and tired of putting my trust in a man, but Jesus was clearly not a normal man. He was a man who was willing to go through the cross for his people. This Christian life comes with many challenges; obeying Jesus’ commands is not easy, but whenever I remember that he, this person, is my king, I can obey him all the more. I want to obey him even if I would lose so much, even if I would lose the whole world.
Second, I saw who I really was. Jesus says, “For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” Then what about me? Why was I born, why did I come into the world? I came to testify to the truth, just like Jesus. The moment I accepted him as my king, I came to have the same mission, same goal, and same purpose. This shone a bright light to my dark world. This life is not about becoming successful and famous, having a beautiful family, and getting an awesome job with awesome benefits, only to kick the bucket and die. It is about testifying to the truth and then going to the place where I belong, Jesus’ kingdom.
Jesus says, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Ever since I accepted him as my king, many terms such as the gospel, eternal life, resurrection started to make real sense to me. I began to pay attention to everything he said. I can lose everything but one thing I cannot lose–that is, the truth. Like Fox Mulder, I had been seeking the truth for so long; in fact, I did not even know what I was looking for. Here Jesus shows me that not only is his kingship the truth, but that there is so much more. Every word he says is true.
This was…is…a mind-blowing moment. I don’t know how to use the tense here, because I saw this five years ago, and today, I see it the same way. With this, my life is set. Thank Jesus for revealing the truth to me, and I will keep pursuing him until I go to the place where he is.
One word: For this reason I was born, and for this, I came into the world, to testify to the truth.