Luke23: 1-12

Written by kathleen on Sep 14, 2014 in - No Comments

Luke 23: 1-12 

Three Attitudes towards Jesus

Jesus has been caught in the jaws of power politics and a corrupt justice system, and now it’s going through the appearance of justice without any chance of real justice.

Satan is the puppet-master behind the scenes. Pilate and Herod are the two corrupt rulers in the momentary spotlight of history and will do whatever they can to retain their position of power.

So when we ended chapter twenty-two with Jesus before the religious council. He’s being questioned indirectly by the high priest who asked him saying “If you are the Christ,” “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer.    But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

1 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.”

It is true that He was correcting the religious abuses that were going on. He had cleansed the temple from its merchandising trying to return it to a house of prayer for all people. But He was not subverting the nation. He was just setting things right that had been wrong. They accused Him of, forbidding to give tribute to Caesar concerning taxes; this again is a false accusation (coin in the fish’s mouth)

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.

Jesus has been arrested in the middle of the night and hustled off to the high priest’s palace where he is interrogated. Then at dawn, the Sanhedrin officially meets to condemn him.

Now they must convince Pilate of Jesus’ guilt in order to see him executed. The Sanhedrin is taking no chances. They move with a crowd to Pilate’s residence in Jerusalem with reason to expect a favorable result when they went to Pilate.

Secular history shows us that Pilate was a cruel and ruthless man, completely insensitive to the moral feelings of others. So they thought no problem Pilate will put Jesus to death.

At the same time, they know Pilate would be unconcerned that they had “convicted” Jesus of  blasphemy. So, they blatantly lied and brought up other charges. Essentially, these are their charges:

o That Jesus was a revolutionary (perverting the nation).

o That Jesus incited the people not to pay their taxes (forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar).

o That Jesus claimed to be a king in opposition to Caesar (saying that He Himself is Christ, a King).

We can only wonder what Pilate thought when he first laid eyes on Jesus, when he saw this beaten and bloodied Man before him.

Jesus didn’t look especially regal or majestic as He stood before Pilate, so the Roman governor was probably sarcastic or ironic when he asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

In John’s Gospel, Jesus qualifies his answer by saying, “My kingdom is not of this world… You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…” John 18:36, But, in spite of hearing Jesus speak of his kingship face to face, Pilate neither believes him nor seems to take this charge seriously.

Pilate was a hardhearted and ruthless individual but he wasn’t stupid. He could see through the motives of the Jewish leaders and can quickly see that Jesus is not a defiant rebel; therefore had no problem in sizing up Jesus and the whole situation. Realizing He’s is no threat to Roman rule in Judea; returns a verdict: I find no fault in this Man.

By any stretch of the imagination, that was a not guilty verdict. Pilate knows and declares that Jesus is innocent of any crime, and that He should be set free.

Notice who Pilate speaks to: a delegation of the chief priests and the members of the Sanhedrin; in addition, a crowd of their supporters have been gathered.

This early in the day, it is unlikely that a crowd representative of the city’s pilgrims and residents has gathered.

In response, the Jewish leaders became even angrier and emphasized their accusation that Jesus was a leader of insurrection. This was a crime that any Roman governor had to be very careful of.

Pilate already had two strikes against him due to the riots that erupted when he ordered his soldiers bearing insignias which the Jews perceived as idols on to the temple mount, and when he paid for the construction of an aqueduct with money from the temple treasury.

Therefore in political hot water already and the mention of Galilee gives Pilate a chance to escape from having to take the heat and decide this case on his own unwilling to make a stand for Jesus; he decides to do nothing and sends Jesus to be judged by Herod, who also has a reputation for corruption because Jesus was from Galilee, the area where Herod ruled.

It just so happened Herod is in Jerusalem this week for the Jewish Passover.  Herod is no friend to Jesus.  Some have claimed that Herod wanted to kill Jesus because Jesus had referred to Herod as an “old fox”.

 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.

 When a person has gone so far into sin and rejection of God where the Lord has nothing to say to them, that person’s in bad shape!

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.

The picture of Herod painted by the New Testament as well as contemporary historians such as Josephus is one of a vain, selfish, and ruthless king.

 Herod has tried to see Jesus before; understanding him as a sort of John-the-Baptist figure. Now he gets his wish. Unfortunately he never took John the Baptist or Jesus seriously.

Herod isn’t interested in truth but in entertainment. He wants to see Jesus perform one of those miracles he has heard about.

So upon His arrival the first thing Herod does is ask Jesus to perform a miracle even though Jesus’ entire earthly ministry had been filled with miracles.

Herod is only the first of many who will ask Jesus for yet another miracle. The soldiers will again yell, “Prophesy who hit you,” On the cross the crowd will scream. “Come down off the Cross,”  Sadly enough, we do the same thing. “Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?” “Why doesn’t He open the job? Why doesn’t He bless the relationship? Why isn’t He providing for our need? Why doesn’t He show me a miracle? I would believe if I could just see Him do something.”

Miracles do not produce faith. All they produce at best is an addiction to more miracles.

Read the Book of Exodus, and you will see the Red Sea parting, manna falling, water flowing. Yet so faithless were the children of Israel—even after seeing miracle upon miracle—they didn’t want to talk to God!

Signs and wonders and miracles do not produce faith because they invariably leave people confused about the miracles that didn’t happen.

People might see ten events take place that are answers to prayer, but the one prayer that doesn’t get answered the way they want is the one that hangs them up. That is why miracles are never enough.

Does this mean the Father won’t do miracles? Of course He will. But the miracles of God are never about power. They’re about people.

Whenever the Lord is working in the area of healing, it’s with an individual. NOT to persuade cynics;—which is why seven times in Mark’s gospel it about individual people concerning His healings; with Jesus saying, “Don’t tell anyone.”

Jesus cares about people, not about power. The most powerful miracle of all was His Resurrection from the dead. (how many people don’t believe that?)

And following this great and awesome event, how many times did Jesus appear to unbelievers? Not once. He never appeared to Pilate, to Herod, or to the religious leaders, saying, “I’m back.”

It was only those who already believed in Him that saw the resurrected Lord.

The one who sees the miracles and the blessings; I believe it is the person who is not seeking them, but who simply loves Jesus.

Therefore Herod receives no amusement on this day. He asks Jesus numerous questions, but Jesus says nothing. During the entire interrogation the chief priests and scribes argue strongly against Jesus.

One might ask; why does Jesus remain silent amidst Herod’s questions and his enemies’ slanderous accusations?

Jesus has always been willing to answer an honest question, but He always ignored empty things said without reason.

In the big picture Herod is of trivial importance or significance and is the only person to whom Jesus has nothing to say. And yet prophecy is fulfilled on that day

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

Finally, Herod dresses Jesus in a shimmering cast-off royal robe in order to mock his claim to kingship; and sends Jesus back to Pilate without comment, other than being appreciative of Pilate’s reference to his authority. Ironically it is this gesture that begins to warm their previously cold relationship with each other and Herod and Pilate became friends that day. They found no common ground except their opposition to Jesus.

We have seen three different attitudes towards Jesus;

o They all agree on rejecting Him. Luke 21:17 men will hate you because of me. Matt 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 1 Cor 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord-a curse be on him.

o Pilate knew something of who Jesus was, but was unwilling to make an unpopular stand for Him.

Matt 10:32-33 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Luke 12:8-9 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

o Herod didn’t take Jesus seriously; he was only interested in amusement and entertainment.

Gal 6:7-9 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Eph 5:5-7 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

We will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written Rom 14:10 ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.