Pilate Sizes Up The Chief Priests

and kicks them out of his office.

Luke 23:1-7 (ESV)

Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

Pilate’s actually a pretty good Roman bureaucrat. In this scene he kicks them out of his office.

Pilate is a high level administrator; the authority to crucify was not common. Just because Rome practiced crucifixion doesn’t mean they took it lightly. Like any high level administrator, he gets irritated when he has to handle something that should have been taken care of by a subordinate.

Pilot quickly sizes up this situation as not worth his time and displays his pique when he says, “I find no guilt in this man.” Make no mistake; that’s designed to infuriate the council. They think He’s as guilty as it gets. The next sentence is comedy gold.

But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

He stirs up the people.” Wow – the crime of stirring.

Then they let it slip that Jesus is from Galilee. Pilot sees an out and packs them off to Herod.

He wants no part of what is obviously a kangaroo court. As brutal as Roman justice is, it’s organized and professional. This rabble is being disrespectful of the system.

Who do they think they are, anyway?


We should always pray for our nation’s leaders, especially the ones we don’t agree with. Like Pilate, they are confronted with many things they’d rather not have to deal with.

Pray that God will grant them wisdom and peace. Ask the Lord to bless them and their families. Ask God to let them see the benefits of all their sacrifice and hard work.

Ask Him to give their families patience as they are forced to accept the crazy schedule that serious responsibility inevitably produces.

People often leave government service “to spend more time with their family.” Sometimes that’s the truth.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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