Luke 23. Forum Discussion

Chapter 23 includes several of the cornerstones of Christianity. Here, Luke writes about Jesus’ trial, His crucifixion, and His death. Luke’s gospel is the longest of the four gospels and is also considered to be the most comprehensive. In chapter 23, we read about Jesus standing before Pilate. Then we read about Him standing before Herod. And finally, about Jesus standing before Pilate a second time. It is this sequence of events that happen just before Jesus’ crucifixion that we will focus on today.

Jesus is brought before Pilate and they accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.” So Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.” – Luke 23:1-5

This is the closest thing we have written in the bible to understand what charges Jesus was being accused of. In Luke 23:2, Luke writes, “And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man:

  • “Misleading our nation”
  • “Forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar”
  • “And saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.” 

These are Luke’s account of the charges Jesus was brought up on.

And as we have read, Pilate’s initial response was, “I find no guilt in this man.” – Luke 23:4

That should have been it. Jesus was accused. Pilate had the authority to rule and did not find anything that Jesus was guilty of, and Jesus would be free to leave. But sadly, we know that is not what happened. The bloodthirsty crowd and the power-hungry leaders of the day pressured Pilate to find Jesus guilty. Pilate for his part passes the responsibility to Herod when he learns that Jesus was a Galilean and that Herod had authority over Galilean’s.

Luke writes beginning in verse 11, “And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently.  And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.” So Herod does not make any decision regarding Jesus’ guilt or innocence.

Both Pilate and Herod knew they were making hysterical decisions, and neither one of them wanted that responsibility. Pilate tries to pass the responsibility to Herod, and Herod gives it right back to him. Instead of doing what they believed to be right, they gave into peer pressure.

That can happen to us too if we are not careful. We can read for ourselves what the Bible teaches us is right and wrong. We have the Holy Spirit to help us “Feel” it. But will we always make the right decisions and do the right things in life? Like Pilate, maybe we start off trying to do what we believe is right, but then we become susceptible to the negative influence of others and we allow them to change our minds. Maybe we are like Paul who said, “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” – Romans 7:19

To protect ourselves from peer pressure requires a strong faith. We know that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. And as our faith grows, we need to turn it into actions because faith without works is dead. – James 2:17.

We should always try to get it right. When we fail, we can take comfort that we have a loving and forgiving Father. 1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

To have the courage to do what we know to be right, even when others are pressuring us to do that which we know to be wrong, is a noble thing to strive for. Let’s end today’s blog with the following quote:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

Amen

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