The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
The sign Jesus had when dying, Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews, was clearly visible. John 19:20-22 says it was written in three different languages, two of them being languages which virtually anybody would be able to read. Literacy, by the way, was widespread in the Jewish world specifically, and in the Roman world in general. People could certainly make out a sign like that. When Pilate was confronted by the chief priests and asked to change the sign, he refused.
It seems that truth claims attract people who would like to enforce change. Free speech is fine and dandy, as long as the people exercising their freedom happen to agree with me. Things haven’t changed that much. Pilate defends his sign. He is not going to sidestep the issue by saying that Jesus is the one who made the claim. He is presenting the claim in factual terms.
This is Jesus, the king of the Jews. Is that a controversial claim? Probably so. Just because it is controversial, just because it seems unlikely or even impossible, just because it requires acceptance of a lot of other baggage, it still might just be the case. That was Pilate’s contention. That has been the contention of Christians since that day. Truth claims bring challenges. But this is one which seems able to stand up to the challenge.
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