The Scripture Reading this week is John 18:33-37
The Sermon title is How Do We Know?
Early Thoughts: It is almost lost in most discussion of this text. But it is a great question. Because this passage comes from the Passion story and because the other time it shows up in the Lectionary is on Reign of Christ Sunday most discussions focus on the nature of Jesus' kingdom out of these verses. Another common option (one I have used many times) is to extend the reading into the next verse where Pilate asks "What is truth?" (a question I always hear as it is sung in Jesus Christ Superstar). But look more closely at verse 34: Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” As people who bear the name "Christian" but obviously never knew the human person Jesus it seems we have to answer that question for ourselves.
Do we know Jesus or do we know about Jesus?
Some people of faith can speak very passionately about the personal relationship they have with Jesus. Some people of faith can speak very knowledgeably about Christology and who Jesus may have been and the stories about him and analyze those stories. Some people can do both.
Do we know Jesus or just know about him? Do we have a personal stake in our relationship with Jesus?
I think we need to take time to build that relationship with Jesus ad with the God we revealed. Part of our faith will always be to hear and to pass on the witness of those who have gone before us. But that is not where we need to stop. We need to be able to sing with full conviction "What a Friend we Have in Jesus". WE need to know Jesus, not just go on the witness of others.