The verdict

Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you know? What have you accomplished with your life? Those are more or less the questions one is supposed to answer on a résumé. Although some are tempted to creatively enhance the narrative, in the end it's vital that the person described by the responses be recognizable as the one whose name is at the top of the page.

Those questions are also pretty much the ones Pilate put to Jesus when he had him on trial. Pilate's questions aimed to find out if Jesus pretended to be a king, and therefore whether he was a threat to Rome's sovereignty.

Pilate apparently asked his questions out of ignorance. As he pointed out, he was no Jew. The implication was that he didn't know what the fuss was all about but he was magnanimously offering Jesus the opportunity to explain himself. He got more than he bargained for -- more than he wanted to comprehend.

There's the rub. Pilate thought he was the judge, but Jesus turned the tables. Standing there, apparently powerless, Jesus brought the powers to trial. "Are you a king?" Pilate asked.

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