Jesus’ trial before Pilate Luke 23:1-2 “Everyone in the council got up and led Jesus off to Pilate. They started accusing Him and said, “We caught this man trying to get our people to riot and stop paying taxes to the Emperor. He also claims that he is the Messiah, our king.” Contemporary English Version Extra Reading: Luke 23:1-12
Early that morning, Jesus’ accusers rushed him to Pilate, the Roman governor. What they heard from Jesus the night before made them more determined than ever to bring about his demise. For them, Jesus’ claim to have access to God was not only blasphemy but also a threat to their own religious authority (Luke 22:69-70). To the high priests and teachers of the law, Jesus was very dangerous. He simply had to be eliminated. Therefore, they did not shrink from presenting completely false charges against Jesus (Luke 20:20-26). Pilate saw through their blatant lies. He knew Jesus was innocent. But the religious leaders would not give up; they pressured Pilate with a threat of a riot. Pilate didn’t appreciate their manipulative tactics, but couldn’t see any way out of his predicament. A riot would jeopardize his leadership of the region or his political career. To delay the decision, he hurried Jesus off to Herod for examination. What would you do if you were in Pilate’s position?
We all know that Jesus was never causing riots anywhere. Again it is ironic that these leaders would attribute such influence to Jesus-that he would cause such disturbances all over the land. But because Pilate was mainly charged with keeping peace, he would be interested in dealing with a man who was causing riots. If this charge were true, however, Pilate would have heard about Jesus long before this. Herod was delighted to finally see Jesus. When Jesus was brought before him, Herod asked him questions, but Jesus refused to answer. Herod is the only person to whom Jesus said nothing at all. When you find yourself in a situation where someone asks you questions about your faith for the fun of it, save your breath. Just as Jesus didn’t dignify Herod’s superficial inquiries (Luke 23:8-9), Christians should refuse to engage anyone in such empty chatter. Sometimes the best answer you can give is silence.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to be wise, when we experience what you went through in your earthly ministry. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Rev. Samuel N. Modise 2013