Luke 23:1-12

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

June 26, 2002


Jesus had spent His last night in the Garden of Gethsemane praying.  He knew what was coming.  In the middle of the night, Judas showed up with a crowd of people, coming to arrest Jesus.  Judas pointed Jesus out by giving Him a kiss.  Jesus was arrested and taken first to the house of the high priest.  Early in the morning the Sanhedrin got together to conduct the first trial of Jesus.  When they asked Him if He was the Messiah, He responded by saying,

(Luke 22:67-71 NLT)  …"If I tell you, you won't believe me. {68} And if I ask you a question, you won't answer. {69} But the time is soon coming when I, the Son of Man, will be sitting at God's right hand in the place of power." {70} They all shouted, "Then you claim you are the Son of God?" And he replied, "You are right in saying that I am." {71} "What need do we have for other witnesses?" they shouted. "We ourselves heard him say it."

With that, the Sanhedrin was ready to take the next step, having Jesus turned over to the Roman authorities so they might have Jesus put to death.

:1-7 Jesus before Pilate – first time

:1  And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.

the wholehapas – quite, all, the whole, all together, all

the multitudeplethos – a multitude; a great number, of men or things; the whole number, the whole multitude, the assemblage

Pilate – This trial before Pilate was early in the morning.  Roman officials only met with the public from sunrise until noon. Pilate was the governor of Palestine from AD 26-36.  Pilate did not normally live in Jerusalem.  His main residence was in the Roman city of Caesarea.  He is probably in town to keep an eye on things during the Passover.

John gives us some details here:

(John 18:28-32 KJV)  Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. {29} Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? {30} They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. {31} Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: {32} That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.

Apparently, somewhere around 30 AD, the Roman government took away the Jews ability to pronounce and carry out death sentences.  In some cases, they were allowed to carry out a sentence of stoning a person to death (as in the case of Stephen, Acts 7).  The Sanhedrin could pronounce a person worthy of a death sentence, but they could not carry it out without the secular governor’s approval.  Perhaps they didn’t want to risk the wrath of the crowd that had just welcomed Jesus into town as the Messiah, so they wanted to have the Roman’s put Jesus to death.
This became the reason why Jesus would be crucified instead of stoned.  In being crucified, He fulfilled specific prophecies about His death (like Ps. 22), as well as His own predictions of being crucified.

:2 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.

to accusekategoreo – to accuse; before a judge: to make an accusation

we foundheurisko – to come upon, hit upon, to meet with; to find by enquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation, to find out by practice and experience

The Sanhedrin presents its case to Pilate.  They need to give him reason to put Jesus to death. The Sanhedrin accuses Jesus of three things.

1.  Perverting the nation

pervertingdiastrepho – to distort, turn aside; to turn aside from the right path, to pervert, corrupt
the nationethnos – a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together; a company, troop, swarm; a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus; a tribe, nation, people group; in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles
He was definitely making a change in the nation, but not exactly a “perversion”.

2.  Forbidding paying of taxes.

forbiddingkoluo – to hinder, prevent forbid; to withhold a thing from anyone; to deny or refuse one a thing
tributephoros – tribute, esp. the annual tax levied upon houses, lands, and persons
This is an outright lie.  Jesus taught just the opposite.

(Luke 20:20-26 KJV)  And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. {21} And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: {22} Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? {23} But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? {24} Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's. {25} And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. {26} And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

People will lie about you.  An amazing thing.

Be careful when you hear strange things about people.  Not everything you hear is true.

(1 Tim 5:19-20 KJV)  Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. {20} Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

3.  He was a king

ChristChristos – “anointed”
a Kingbasileus – leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king
This was true.
But the Sanhedrin means this to be some kind of threat to Caesar.  Jesus was no threat to Caesar.
All of Israel was waiting for their Christ, their Messiah.  He would be the nation’s deliverer.

For some, they considered the Messiah to be the one who would deliver the nation from the Romans.

Yet here are the leaders of Israel actually turning the REAL Messiah over to the Romans.  Amazing.

:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

askedeperotao – to accost one with an enquiry, put a question to, enquiry of, ask, interrogate; to address one with a request or demand

Art thou the King of the Jews? – the force of the Greek could be translated: “YOU are the king of the Jews?!”

It seems that Pilate doesn’t expect that so ordinary looking of a man, so commonly dressed of a man, would be the King of the Jews.

(Isa 53:2 KJV)  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

thou sayest it – This is a Greek way of saying, “Yes” or “You said it!”.

:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

the peopleochlos – a crowd; a throng; a multitude; the common people, as opposed to the rulers and leading men

I findheurisko – to come upon, hit upon, to meet with; to find by enquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation, to find out by practice and experience

faultaition – cause, fault; It means one who is the author, the cause of or responsible for anything.

John records a little more of Pilate’s questions to Jesus, showing how he came to this conclusion:

{John 18:33-38 KJV} Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? {34} Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? {35} Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? {36} Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. {37} Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, 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. {38} Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.


Is your kingdom in this world?
It seems to me that there are only two things in this room that will last forever:

1. The Word of God.

2. The people next to you.

And yet, if we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the world’s ideas about success and then we spend all of our time trying to build up our little financial empires, creating the perfect dream house, or getting that awesome car.

Perhaps we’ve forgotten where we’re headed.


Have you ever packed your suitcase for a trip, but guessed wrong on the weather?

You pack too many jackets, when what you really need are T-shirts.

Make sure you’re ready for the life ahead, the one that lasts a LONG, LONG Time!

The Sanhedrin said they found Jesus to be a bad person.  Pilate says that he finds no fault in Him.

Pilate knows why the Sanhedrin is asking him to put Jesus to death.

(Mat 27:18 KJV)  For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

:5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.

the more fierceepischo – to give additional strength, to make stronger; to receive greater strength, grow stronger

He stirreth upanaseio – to shake up; to stir up, excite, rouse

teachingdidasko – to teach; to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses; instill doctrine into one

allholos – all, whole, completely

JewryIoudaia – “he shall be praised”; Judaea; in a narrower sense, to the southern portion of Palestine lying on this side of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, to distinguish it from Samaria, Galilee, Peraea, and Idumaea; in a broader sense, referring to all Palestine

from Galilee

A Galilean had led the tax revolt of a.d. 6; Judeans also tended to view Galileans as inferior to themselves, although much of Galilee was urban and in touch with the larger Mediterranean culture, as Jerusalem was.[1]

:6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.

:7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

as soon as he knewepiginosko – to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly; to know accurately, know well; to know i.e. to understand

jurisdictionexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed); jurisdiction

he sentanapempo – to send up; to a higher place; to a person higher in office, authority, or power; to send back

Herod was not usually in Jerusalem, but he was there because of the Passover. He was probably staying at the old Hasmonean (Maccabean) palace.

Herod Antipas was the same man that had put John the Baptist to death

Herod ruled over the Galilee area:

Lu 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

Ryrie:  Pilate was not required to send Jesus to Herod Antipas but did so, hoping to find a way out of his own dilemma and perhaps also as a diplomatic gesture (see v. 12). Herod had come to Jerusalem for Passover. Only Luke records this meeting with Herod.

:8-11 Jesus before Herod

:8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

gladchairo – to rejoice, be glad; to rejoice exceedingly

exceedinglian – greatly, exceedingly, exceedingly beyond measure

he was desirousthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

he hopedelpizo – to hope; hopefully to trust in

miracle semeion – a sign, mark, token; that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known; a sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature; of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen; of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s

Herod was looking for some entertainment.

Jesus had an earlier warning in His ministry about Herod.  Here’s how He had responded:

(Lk 13:31-35 KJV) {31} The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. {32} And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. {33} Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. {34} O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! {35} Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Jesus sent a message to Herod that Herod wouldn’t be able to kill Jesus before the time came for Jesus to be killed.
Jesus also sent a clear message to Herod that He, Jesus, was the Messiah, the Savior of Israel.

:9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

he questionedeperotao – to accost one with an enquiry, put a question to, enquiry of, ask, interrogate; to address one with a request or demand; to ask of or demand of one

nothingoudeis – no one, nothing

he answeredapokrinomai – to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer

This fulfilled a prophecy:

 (Isa 53:7 KJV)  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.


Defending yourself

Sometimes we get ourselves into deeper trouble by trying to defend ourselves.  You can’t always track down every lie that will be said about you.
There will be some people who will easily believe lies about you without ever bother trying to see if there’s any truth in it.  Those might be people you don’t want as friends.


Jesus and the mocker

Jesus does not speak to the man who will mock Him.  He is only silent.
To the person who really wants to know, Jesus will reveal Himself to.
(Luke 11:9-13 KJV)  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. {10} For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. {11} If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? {12} Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? {13} If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
To the person who doesn’t really want to know, Jesus is silent.
Jesus had taught:

(Mt 7:6 KJV) {6} Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.

stoodhistemi – to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set; to stand

vehementlyeutonos – vehemently, forcibly

accusedkategoreo – to accuse; before a judge: to make an accusation

:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

set him at nought exoutheneo (“out of” + “nothing”) – to make of no account, despise utterly; a variation of exoudenoo, to hold and treat as of no account, utterly to despise; to set at nought, treat with contempt

men of warstrateuma – an army; a band of soldiers; bodyguard, guards men

mockedempaizo – to play with, trifle with; to mock; to delude, deceive; from paizo, to play like a child; to play, sport, jest; to give way to hilarity, esp. by joking singing, dancing

This is what the Jewish temple guards had done already,

(Luke 22:63 KJV)  And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

arrayedperiballo – to throw around, to put around

robeesthes – clothing, raiment, apparel

gorgeouslampros – shining; brilliant; splendid, magnificent; splendid things i.e. luxuries or elegancies in dress or style

sent him againanapempo – to send up; to a higher place; to a person higher in office, authority, or power; to send back


It will happen to us

(Mat 10:17-31 KJV)  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; {18} And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. {19} But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. {20} For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. {21} And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. {22} And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. {23} But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. {24} The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. {25} It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
If it happened to Jesus, it will happen to us.
{26} Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. {27} What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. {28} And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. {29} Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. {30} But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. {31} Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
We should only be afraid of the Lord.

People can not really harm you.

I think we need to learn to have compassion on those who would mock us.

While on the cross, Jesus said,

(Luke 23:34 KJV)  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

friendsphilos – friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well; an associate; he who associates familiarly with one, a companion

beforeprouparcho – to be before, exist previously

at enmityechthra – enmity; cause of enmity


Hating Jesus draws people together


[1]Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Lk 23:5). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.