”And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King” (Luke 23:2)


Leslie M. John

Caiaphas the high priest and the Jews did not enter the Judgment hall as it would be against their moral ethics and violation of Mosaic Law. Pilate, therefore, went out of the Judgment hall and inquired of them as to what charges they have against Jesus that they brought Him to him to judge and crucify. The High Priest and the Jews said to Pilate that they would not have brought Him to be judged if He did not commit treason. They knew that if they charged Jesus with violation of religious laws Pilate would have rejected to conduct the proceedings and, therefore, they went ahead leveling false accusations against Him. Jesus neither violated religious laws nor civil laws.

The Jews charged Jesus with

1. treason,
2. forbidding people to pay taxes to the Caesar and
3. proclaiming Himself as the King

”And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King” (Luke 23:2)

Jesus drew crowds and multitudes of people, not for sedition against Government, but to heal the sick by His divine power, providing them food when they needed, and showed by His own example that every citizen should pay taxes to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God (Ref. Matthew 8:1-34; 14:19; Matthew 17:27).

The Jews had no evidence to prove Jesus deserved death. Pilate then asked Jesus if He was the king of the Jews, and Jesus replied ”Thou sayest it”. In all these, Pilate found Jesus ”not guilty” of any of the charges they leveled against Him and, therefore, he said to Jews to take Jesus and judge Him according to their Law.

Jesus suffered reproach of misrepresentation of facts about Him and stood before a gentile because His sole purpose was to lay down His life for our sake that we may receive salvation free of cost by accepting Him as our Savior. He bore our sins. Jews knew that Roman Government withdrew power from them to execute a man if any of the children of Israel violated Mosaic Law. They acknowledged by their own mouth before Pilate that they had no power to put any man to death.

Much before Jesus was taken into custody by the Jews, Jesus said to His disciples, when they were going up to Jerusalem that He will be betrayed unto chief priests, and unto scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to Gentiles to mock Him, scourge and to crucify Him; but He assured that He will rise live from the dead on the third day. (Ref. Matthew 20:17-19)

They, indeed, consulted among themselves to kill Jesus subtly, and if it were not the feast day, they would have, perhaps performed this atrocious act and killed Him in violation of both Mosaic Law and Civil Law.

”And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people” (Matthew 26:4-5)

Pilate entered Judgment hall again and called Jesus and questioned Him if He was King of the Jews. Then, Jesus answered him ”…Dost thou say this of thyself, or have others said it to thee concerning me?” (John 18:34)

When Jesus questioned Pilate’s honesty, Pilate justified his question even though he heard false accusation from Jews that Jesus proclaimed Himself as the King of the Jews. Pilate said it was neither illegal nor was he influenced by partiality or Jewish prejudices and asked Jesus ”Am I a Jew? Thy nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done?” (John 18:35)

Jesus said to Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world and if it were of this world then His servants would have fought for Him to prevent Him being delivered to the Jews.

Pilate questioned Jesus if He was the King?. Jesus answered him saying: ”Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”

Pilate asked a rhetorical question as to what the truth was and did not wait to listen to Jesus. He went out of Judgment hall to speak to the waiting Jews outside the judgment hall and said to them that he did not find any fault in Jesus. When he found Jesus as ”not guilty” it was his responsibility to release Jesus without going into further options; instead he said to them that according to their custom on the day of Passover feast a prisoner should be released by the Governor, and, therefore, asked him if they desired if he should release Jesus; but they said to Pilate not to release Jesus; instead requested him to release Barabbas, who was a noted criminal (Ref. John 18:29-40).