Sermon:  Expedience vs. Truth

Summary:  Pilate stands as a lesson for us to seek truth and not expedience, especially 
concerning the true king and his kingdom, which is not of this world.  The means that 
even though we are living in two worlds, we serve only one true king at all times 
without hypocrisy and do not "hand him over" when expedient.  

Know:  A Christian lives in two worlds, but he is only of one, which is the one were his 
loyalty lies

Feel:  Confidence in loyalty to Christ in all situations

Do:  Discuss the lessons to learn from Pilate's choices concerning Jesus.  List and identify 
ways you are tempted to "hand Jesus over" in life.  Compare and contrast your attitude 
towards citizenship, authority, and truth, and the biblical view of these.  Describe how 
this influences and guides your daily decisions, ethics, and actions.  Identify ways the 
biblical view can become more dominant in the areas of your life it needs to.

Text:  Jn 18:28-19:6

Scripture Reading:  1 Tim 6:12-14

1.  During presidential campaign, Theodore Roosevelt met with a delegation from Ohio at his house
	a.  He met them with sleeves rolled up
		- Said, "Come with me to the barn, we'll talk while I do some work
		- At barn, had pitchfork, but no hay around
	b.  Called out, "John?  Where is all the hay?
		- From hayloft a voice called back
		- "Sorry sir, I aint had time to thrown it back down after you pitched 
		  it up when the folks from Iowa was here
	c.  He was trying to do something "expedient" for his campaign
	d.  Got caught
2.  Definition:  Expedient
	a.  Useful in a situation that requires action
	b.  Advantageous for practical rather than moral reasons
	c.  Synonyms:  Befitting, convenient, suitable, advantageous, useful, 
	     effective, pragmatic, profitable, tactical, utilitarian 
3.  On the surface, doing what expedient may seem wise
	a.  You do what is practical, what is profitable, best for you
	b.  This morning's text demonstrates what happens when expediency is 
	      what rules your life
	c.  Text:  Jn 18:28 - 19:16
4.  Some observations
	a.  Major focus in this text on Jesus and Pilate
	b.  The one in the wrong is not the accused
		- The one who handed him over has the greater sin - Talking about 
		   Caiaphas and Jewish leadership who handed him over to Pilate 
		- Pilate has the "lesser sin," but it is still sin - Responsible for death 
		  of an innocent man
	c.  Two kinds of expedience:
		- Caiaphas - Political Expedience (18:14; 11:47-53)
			-- Planned to kill Jesus to avoid Roman wrath
			-- Of course, his statement full of irony, Jesus would die for 
			    them, but not in the way Caiaphas meant
			-- So they handed him over to Pilate for execution, claiming 
			    more loyalty to Caesar that Pilate apparently had
			-- 18:30 - Handed him over to Pilate
		- Pilate - Personal Expedience 
			-- Pilate got in trouble several times for offending the Jews in 
			   ways previous governors did not - almost starting riots
			-- "Friend of Ceasar" was a title for those who demonstrated 
			    utmost loyalty to Ceasar and Rome
			-- (19:16)  Pilate, fearing exile or death, handed Jesus over
	d.  v.37 - Did not heed Jesus because they were not interested in truth
5.  We need to seek truth, and not expedience

I.  By avoiding hypocrisy
	A.  Pilate is a good example of this
	B.  He asks the right questions, but for the wrong reasons
		1.  Are you a king?  &  Where are you from?
			a.  Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, Pilate is afraid
			b.  Maybe Jesus is no ordinary man
			c.  Jesus has appeared in his religious map
			d.  Pilate is faced with truth - what does he do?
		2.  What is truth?
			a.  Is Pilate probing, is he interested?
				- He doesn't wait for an answer
				- He asks the question to try and avoid responsibility
			b.  Like Bill Clinton in scandal with Lewinsky 
				- His question:  "What is intercourse?"
				- Not interested in an answer, he knew answer
				- Trying to wiggle way out of responsibility
				- That is what Pilate is doing
			c.  People still do the same thing
				- What is appropriate?  What is right?  Good?  Moral?
				- Not seeking truth, but trying to avoid it
		3.  (Mt 15:8) This people honors me with lips, heart far from me
			a.  They are putting on an act
			b.  It is not really sincere
			c.  It is hypocritical
	C.  Hypocrite - Word comes area of drama
		1.  Word for the actors was the word, "hypocrite"
		2.  What a descriptive metaphor for the insincere
			a.  These are those who pretend to be something else
			b.  They are people with masks, costumes, makeup
			c.  These are people with are not sincere
		3.  Hypocrites version of 1 Cor 9:20-23
			a.  To Jew I became a Jew, lawless, weak, strong
			b.  All things to all men to avoid persecution
			c.  I do all things for the sake of myself, so I can get ahead
		4.  Hypocrites heart is far from God
	D.  What is Sunday to me?
		1.  Is it showtime?
			a.  Do I act the part on Sunday?
			b.  Is Sunday a costume party?
		2.  Do I hand Jesus over on Monday?

II.  By serving only the King
	A.  We live in two worlds, so we need to remember whose we are
	B.  Did Pilate understand Jesus was a king?
		1.  Discussion between the two
			a.  Pilate try to find if Jesus a threat to Rome
			b.  Did others tell you I a king, or is this your own question?
				- What kind of King Pilate means?
				- If he means like Caesar, then no, he not a king
				- Jesus' kingdom is bigger, greater
			c.  My kingdom is not of this world
			d.  So you are some sort of king?
				- You say I am a king - "king" is your word
				- I have come into world to testify to the truth
				- Everyone who is of the truth listens/heeds my voice
				- His Kingdom is the kingdom of truth, He is king
		2.  Pilate goes back and forth between Jesus and Jews
			a.  Try to release Jesus and appease the Jews
			b.  Backed into corner, can't have it both ways
			c.  Can't be friend of Caesar AND of Christ - Has to choose
		3.  Mt 6:24 - Jesus said you can't serve two masters
			a.  Can live in two worlds/kingdoms, but be of only one
			b.  Phil 3:20 - Our citizenship is in Heaven
			c.  1 Pet 2:11 - We are aliens and strangers
		4.  This will put us at odds with the world
			a.  We serve a ruler higher than rulers of the land
				- What is right and wrong not determined by what is 
				  "legal," but by what God has said is right
				- Pilate hand Jesus over, technically it was legal
				- Was it right?  Moral?  NO, it was not
			b.  If Pilate did what was right, what might happen?
				- At odds with Jewish leadership
				- At odds with Caesar and Rome
				- His loyalty to Rome would be in question
				- Did what was expedient, handed Jesus over
			c.  Can't he have it both ways?   NO.
			d.  Mt 5:10 - Blessed those persecuted for sake of 
			     righteousness, theirs is the kingdom of heaven
				- Kingdom people do not hide their citizenship for the 
			  	  sake of expedience
	C.  ILL:  Mom wanted me to dye my hair blond when I was in Jr. High
		1.  Had problem getting picked on, sometimes due to my race
		2.  She thought it would be better if I dyed my hair blond
			a.  I would be able to blend in better
			b.  People might not suspect my ethnic background
		3.  I never tried it, so I don't know if it would have worked
			a.  I was afraid I would just look like a blond Asian
			b.  People would know I was from someplace else and trying 
			     to cover it up
		4.  Our citizenship is from someplace else - must not hide it 
	D.  Let us never dye our hair spiritually, or wear various spiritual wigs to 
	     hide whose we are
		1.  Those wigs and dyes come in many forms
		2.  Word for people's collections of wigs and dyes: Pluralism
			a.  Accepting creation on Sunday and evolution on Monday
			b.  God's ethics on Sunday, legal ethics on Monday
			c.  Personal beliefs on Sunday, public beliefs on Monday
			d.  Accepts religious truth on Sunday, scientific truth on 
		3.  Why?  For the sake of expedience
			a.  Expedience says
				- Don't make waves
				- Bible has no place in public life
				- Religion has nothing to do with abortion, gay 
				  marriage, pre-marital sex, your public life
			b.  Truth says
				- Right is right no matter the situation or place
				- Truth is truth, in private AND in public
				- Jesus is not just King, but King of Kings
				- All rule, power, authority will be destroyed, only 
				  Christ and his kingdom will remain
		4.  Who will you choose, Jesus or Caesar?
			- Answer needs to be:  We have no king but Christ!

1.  Who is your ruler?  (inv)
2.  You are part of his kingdom, not of this world
	a.  It means we don't question to avoid responsibility - "What is truth, right, 
	     a marriage, etc."
		- We do as our Lord says at all times
		- All authority is given to Christ on Heaven and on Earth
		- His authority is not invalidated by those who do not accept it
	b.  This means we do no put on masks, wigs, costumes, etc.
		- We seek, listen to, and obey truth - God's truth
		- We don't put on an act
3.  Jesus did not put on an act for us
	a.  His love is genuine, it led him to a cruel Roman cross
	b.  Heb 2:11 - He is not ashamed to call us "brethren"
4.  Don't choose expedience, choose truth - What is truth?  Jesus is way, truth, life

Small Group Notes:  Expedience vs. Truth

Summary:  Pilate stands as a lesson for us to seek truth and not expedience, especially concerning 
the true king and his kingdom, which is not of this world.  The means that even though we are 
living in two worlds, we serve only one true king at all times without hypocrisy and do not "hand 
him over" when expedient.  

- What are some pressure tactics people have used on you before?


1.  What seemed to be Pilate's initial concern about Jesus?  How did Jesus answer Pilate about his 

2.  Pilate asks Jesus questions about kingship, authority, and truth.  What is the difference between 
the worldly view of these things and the biblical view of these?

3.  What choices did Pilate have to make and what are the consequences of those choices?  Why did 
Pilate do what he did?

4.  What stands out to you about Pilate in this text?  


5.  In your daily life, what are some ways you are tempted to "hand Christ over" for the sake of 

6.  Compare and contrast your view of citizenship to the biblical view of citizenship.  

7.  What would it take for you to live in two worlds and yet be of only one of them, the kingdom of 
God (and avoid merely acting the part)?