With A Politician

In this passage, the religious leaders want Jesus dead, but in order to make this happen, they have to take him to the political leaders. So they come and they say, “This man is a political leader. He threatens your political power. So we have a question.” The question is put directly to Jesus by Pilate. And that question is this: What are your politics, Jesus?

For years, I was always frustrated with Jesus’ answer, because it is a very ambiguous one. I always found it maddeningly ambiguous, but today I can come before you and say it is beautifully, wisely, profoundly ambiguous. As a result, we have some work to do. We have to do some reflection.

When Jesus gives a deliberately, wisely ambiguous answer, he would only ever do that because any other answer would be far more confusing, far more pathological, and far more deadly. Jesus is not just playing hard to get; he is trying to bring us to the truth. So let’s take a look first of all at what this tremendously ambiguous answer is.

This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on February 23, 1997. Series "The Real Jesus Part 2; His Life". Scripture: Luke 23:1-25.

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