The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 185: Section 3.
The Private Examination By Pilate
Pilate took Jesus and John Zebedee into a private chamber, leaving the guards
outside in the hall, and requesting the prisoner to sit down, he sat down by
his side and asked several questions. Pilate began his talk with Jesus by assuring
him that he did not believe the first count against him: that he was a perverter
of the nation and an
inciter to rebellion. Then he asked, "Did you ever teach
that tribute should be refused Caesar?" Jesus, pointing to John, said, "Ask
him or any other man who has heard my teaching." Then Pilate questioned John
about this matter of tribute, and John testified concerning his Master's teaching
and explained that Jesus and his apostles paid taxes both to Caesar and to the
temple. When Pilate had questioned John, he said, "See that you tell no man
that I talked with you." And John never did reveal this matter.
Pilate then turned around to question Jesus further, saying: "And now about
the third accusation against you, are you the king of the Jews?" Since there
was a tone of possibly sincere inquiry in Pilate's voice, Jesus smiled on the
procurator and said: "Pilate, do you ask this for yourself, or do you take this
question from these others, my accusers?" Whereupon, in a tone of partial indignation,
the governor answered: "Am I a Jew? Your own people and the chief priests delivered
you up and asked me to sentence you to death. I question the validity of their
charges and am only trying to find out for myself what you have done. Tell me,
have you said that you are the king of the Jews, and have you sought to found
a new kingdom?"
Then said Jesus to Pilate: "Do you not perceive that my kingdom is not of this
world? If my kingdom were of this world, surely would my disciples fight that
I should not be delivered into the hands of the Jews. My presence here before
you in these bonds is sufficient to show all men that my kingdom is a spiritual
dominion, even the brotherhood of men who, through faith and by love, have become
the sons of God. And this salvation is for the gentile as well as for the Jew."
"Then you are a king after all?" said Pilate. And Jesus answered: "Yes, I am
such a king, and my kingdom is the family of the faith sons of my Father who
is in heaven. For this purpose was I born into this world, even that I should
show my Father to all men and bear witness to the truth of God. And even now
do I declare to you that every one who loves the truth hears my voice."
Then said Pilate, half in ridicule and half in sincerity, "Truth, what is truth
-- who knows?"
Pilate was not able to fathom Jesus' words, nor was he able to understand the
nature of his spiritual kingdom, but he was now certain that the prisoner had
done nothing worthy of death. One look at Jesus, face to face, was enough to
convince even Pilate that this gentle and weary, but majestic and upright, man
was no wild and dangerous revolutionary who aspired to establish himself on
the temporal throne of Israel. Pilate thought he understood something of what
Jesus meant when he called himself a king, for he was familiar with the teachings
of the Stoics, who declared that "the wise man is king." Pilate was thoroughly
convinced that, instead of being a dangerous
seditionmonger, Jesus was nothing
more or less than a harmless visionary, an innocent fanatic.
After questioning the Master, Pilate went back to the chief priests and the
accusers of Jesus and said: "I have examined this man, and I find no fault in
him. I do not think he is guilty of the charges you have made against him; I
think he ought to be set free." And when the Jews heard this, they were moved
with great anger, so much so that they wildly shouted that Jesus should die;
and one of the Sanhedrists boldly stepped up by the side of Pilate, saying:
"This man stirs up the people, beginning in Galilee and continuing throughout
all Judea. He is a
mischief-maker and an evildoer. You will long regret it if
you let this wicked man go free."
Pilate was hard pressed to know what to do with Jesus; therefore, when he heard
them say that he began his work in Galilee, he thought to avoid the responsibility
of deciding the case, at least to gain time for thought, by sending Jesus to
appear before Herod, who was then in the city attending the Passover. Pilate
also thought that this gesture would help to antidote some of the bitter feeling
which had existed for some time between himself and Herod, due to numerous misunderstandings
over matters of jurisdiction.
Pilate, calling the guards, said: "This man is a Galilean. Take him forthwith
to Herod, and when he has examined him, report his findings to me." And they
took Jesus to Herod.