The question is Pontius Pilate’s. It’s early morning, and the air in the room is laced with lamp oil and irony. Jesus stands before him bound, his cheek puffy from a slap by the high priest’s guard.
We listen in on the conversation courtesy of John’s Gospel, and there is no doubt about who is carrying our sympathy, our faith. Yet there is something in Pilate’s question that has us leaning in for Jesus’ answer. Our reasons are different from Pilate’s, but we too want to know: “So are you a king?”