Jesus Before Pilate and Herod (Luke 23:1-12)

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.”

3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.

4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

5 But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies. (Luke 23:1-12)


Learn it:

Luke has been wanting his readers to decide if Jesus is the Son of God or not. Now in his writings, he gives two eyewitnesses who are asked by the Jewish leaders to make a judgment about who Jesus is. The Jewish leaders bring three charges against Jesus, (1) he was stirring up trouble, (2) he opposed giving taxes to Caesar, and (3) he claimed to be king. Pilate, a Roman leader did not care about the first two charges and asked him about number three. Which after talking with Jesus he did not see him as a threat to the Roman Empire. Trying to cover himself he sent Jesus to Herod to get his input.

Herod did not really care about the Jewish leader’s concerns but wanted to see Jesus “perform” some miracles. He thought Jesus was more a magician than a religious leader. While Jesus was with Herod, he was silent because he did not respect Herod at all. He did not want to give him any authority by talking to him. This rubbed Herod the wrong way and it led to him mocking Jesus and dressing him up as a fake king. Neither Herod or Pilate saw any threat in Jesus, and it led them both to say that he was innocent. It also drew them close together as friends.


Live it:

We now have two leaders examining Jesus to see if any of the charges the Jews brought against him were true. Both found him innocent. Jesus was not stirring up a political revolt and he was not telling people to not pay their taxes. Jesus was a king but of a different type of kingdom. This is what the Jewish leaders, and some of Jesus’ own followers, did not fully understand. It is when people do not understand Jesus that they are hostile to him. As followers of Jesus, it is up to us, through the Holy Spirit, that we continue to talk with unbelievers about who Jesus really is. We must pray that the Holy Spirit would open people’s eyes and minds to the truth of Jesus. How can you bring clarity to the life of Jesus? Who in your life has a misunderstanding of who Jesus is and what he did? How can you lean on the Holy Spirit to graciously speak the truth?

Leave a Reply