June 29, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Good Confession
Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession …
He shall show Who is the blessed and only Potentate,
the King of kings, and Lord of lords
Few scenes are more ironic than the one which unfolded in Pilate’s judgment hall. Allow your mind to visualize the scene: a petty ruler over a backwater area such as Judea, is boasting of his authority before the God of the universe. “”Knowest Thou not that I have power … ” (John 19:10). How easily a little authority goes to our heads and makes us into little despots! Pilate was actually trying to intimidate the Lord Jesus Christ into some sort of confession by a show of power.
To this the Lord responded with incredible meekness, grace, and longsuffering. His words are characterized by Paul in 1 Timothy 6 as: “Who … witnessed a good confession.” We tend to think of witnessing as a bold declaration of a man’s sin and of truth. The Lord Jesus did not challenge Pilate’s authority. He did not deny that, for a brief time, this erstwhile earthly power did possess some authority. He owned, as well, that greater guilt was the portion of those who had delivered Him up to Pilate (the Jewish leaders). He did not contest, challenge, belittle, or dismiss Pilate. But with calm dignity and moral strength, He reversed roles for a brief moment and, though prisoner, assessed the measure of guilt of all involved in the trial. In this manner, He witnessed “a good confession.”
The result of that is seen in 1 Timothy 6:13-15). Pilate thought that he was the potentate. But the One Who left His vindication with God will one day be displayed for worlds to view. In that day, God the Father will show Who is the blessed and only Potentate – petty rulers and maniacal dictators will all fade into insignificance – as He alone stands forth displayed by God as the true Potentate: King of kings and Lord of lords.
What will Pilate think in that day? Will he remember his bold boast? Will he think back to the scene in the judgment hall when a thorn crowned Man stood before him and silently allowed him to rant about his “power”? What will those who mocked His claim to kingship think, having nailed the charge in mockery, and blasphemed that claim at the cross – what will they think when they realize He is King. But not only King but King of all kings!
God will yet, in a soon coming day, vindicate His Son against every charge, accusation, and innuendo ever hurled against His blessed person. How wonderful that we will be at His side in that day to see with our own eyes, and enjoy with redeemed hearts and minds, the harvest that He will reap from what He has sown in tears!
Look at all the charges placed against the Lord Jesus and all the blasphemous words spoken at the cross, and consider how in the appearing of His glory, God will answer every one of them.
What would be the significance of 1 Timothy 6:13-16 to Timothy in his ministry and his circumstances? Does it have any relevance to us?