Jesus is facing a sham sentencing after facing a sham trial. He stands before Pilate, and Pilate has no idea what to do with him. Pilate has an angry mob of people whose religion and culture looks nothing like his own. He doesn't understand. But as governor, the buck stops with him. He's going to give the people an answer, and both answers are going to end poorly.
Pilate is facing two disparate truths: Jesus appears innocent of the charges, but there is no one coming to his defense. Pilate seemingly hasn't even heard of Jesus before this day. Why of all a sudden is Jesus a villain?
Pilate has asked two other questions of Jesus so far: who are you? and why should I care?
And Jesus has answered both of those questions truthfully, even if they weren't the clear answers for which Pilate had hoped.
Now Pilate asks a third question in John 18:37. "Then Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.'"
You can sense the frustration. Pilate thinks he's getting nowhere. But Jesus's answer is perfect. He definitely answers Pilate's question, but he gives the answer Pilate doesn't know he needs to hear.
Jesus clearly admits to being a king. "For this purpose I was born..."
Jesus did not arrive in the incarnation like a king that Pilate was used to. Jesus is a king who came to be the king of truth. Everything Jesus says is true, regardless of how much work it takes to understand it, no matter if the world understands it or not. There will always be people to reject the truth of Christ, but that should not deter Christians from embracing every word that comes from the mouth of God.
The flesh, or the world, has one set of presuppositions. The flesh presupposes that we can define ourselves without relation to God, that we can determine our own destiny, and that we are free.
The spirit, or the kingdom of God, has another set of presuppositions. The spirit presupposes that we are defined by our relation to our heavenly Father, that God is sovereign, and that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to Christ.
One set of presuppositions is true, and the other set is damning. One set results in human flourishing, and the other set is the result of the fall.
Each one of us needs to examine ourselves and what we believe so we know which set of presuppositions we adhere to. Do we believe a lie, or do we believe in the one who came to show us the truth?
Everyone who is of the truth listens to Christ's voice and adjusts their philosophies and theologies accordingly. That is discipleship. So if you are not living according to the truth, the spirit calls us to repent and change our system of belief.
You can apply this to your identity. Am I forming my own identity based on what culture tells me, or am I increasingly learning about who God says I am?
You can apply this to your relationships. Am I seeking personal satisfaction and using other people to do so, or am I seeking to serve other people before myself?
You can apply this to your job. Am I building cars, practicing medicine, or sweeping floors and complaining about it, or am I dutifully serving my Lord in whatever capacity he has placed me?
"Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."