Morning Bible Study
We had thought that the deadline to sign up for the November Israel trip
was May 1, but we have learned this week that was only the date to get your
deposit back if you cancelled.
The deadline to sign up for Israel is actually the end of July.
So … if you were sad because you thought you missed the chance to go to
Israel, cheer up! You can still go.
In two weeks we will be hosting the live webcast of Harvest America.
The “pre-concert” starts at 4:30, the actual event is 5-7pm.
Just a quick reminder why this weekend is a holiday weekend…
We are now at the end of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus is hours from being crucified.
Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
He would do this by dying for our sins.
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on the previous Sunday, Palm Sunday, to
the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
On the following Thursday night, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His
disciples before taking them back to spend the night at the Garden of
Judas showed up with a group of Jewish leaders and soldiers.
They took Jesus to the high priest’s house, and then early on Friday
morning Jesus was put on trial before the Sanhedrin.
The high priest has declared Jesus guilty of blasphemy. He was claiming to be the Messiah. He was claiming to be God.
23:1-7 Pilate Trial #1
:1 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him
:1 led Him to Pilate
A Sunday school teacher asked her students to draw a picture of the Holy
Family. After the pictures were brought to her, she saw that some of the
youngsters had drawn the conventional pictures....the Holy Family and the
manger, the Holy Family riding on the mule, etc. But she called up one little
boy to ask him to explain his drawing, which showed an airplane with four heads
sticking out of the plane windows. She said, “I can understand that you drew
three of the heads to show Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. But who’s the fourth head?”
“Oh,” answered the boy, “that’s Pontius the pilot!”
If it weren’t for the trial of Jesus, Pontius Pilate would be considered a
minor figure in history.
He is mentioned by ancient historians Josephus, Philo, and Tacitus, besides
the four gospels.
Yet sixty years ago, he was considered by some scholars to be nothing more
than a myth.
In 1961, archaeologists turned over one of the stones in the ancient
amphitheater at Caesarea, and found the name of Pilate carves into it.
The inscription, translated from Latin, is:
“To the Divine Augusti this Tiberieum … Pontius Pilate …
prefect of Judea … has dedicated this”
Those of you going to Israel in November will see a replica of the stone
when we visit Caesarea.
Pilate and the Jews
Pilate arrived in Palestine in AD 26, having been appointed by Emperor
When Pilate first showed up as governor of Palestine, he tried putting
images of the Emperor in Jerusalem, and the Jews didn’t like it because it
broke the Law of Moses.
They pleaded with him for five days to remove the images, and on the sixth
day of protests he almost ordered his soldiers to kill all the protestors.
When the protestors told him they’d rather be slain than offend God, Pilate
gave in and removed the images.
Pilate’s second incident with the Jews took places when Pilate decided to
use Temple treasury funds to pay for more aqueducts.
The Jews were upset at this use of funds and the this time Pilate had his
soldiers beat the protestors with clubs.
The third incident involved Pilate wanting to honor the Emperor by putting
shields with Tiberius’ name in Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.
The Jews protested, sent a delegation to the Emperor to complain, and ended
up making the Emperor angry with Pilate for stirring up trouble.
Pilate got along with the Jews like President Trump gets along with the
They are not fans of one another.
This trial before Pilate was early in the morning.
Roman officials only met with the public from sunrise until noon.
Though Pilate spent most of his time in the coastal city of Caesarea,
Pilate is in Jerusalem to keep an eye on things during the Passover.
The reason the Sanhedrin brings Jesus to Pilate is because at the moment
there was a ban on the Jews carrying out executions (John 18:31)
:2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow
perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He
Himself is Christ, a King.”
:2 they began to accuse Him
The Sanhedrin accuses Jesus of three things.
1. Perverting the nation
perverting – diastrepho – to
turn aside from the right path, to pervert, corrupt
It's true that Jesus was definitely making a change in the nation, but He
was purifying it, not corrupting it.
2. Forbidding paying of taxes.
This would certainly get Pilate’s attention, yet it is an outright lie.
Jesus had just taught, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”
3. He was a king
The Christ, the Messiah, was indeed a king, and Jesus had indeed claimed to
be the Messiah.
This was true.
Don’t be surprised
Sometimes things in life go very wrong.
Believe it or not, you and I will go through times like Jesus went through.
People will lie about us. They will
try to hurt us. All because of our
relationship with Jesus.
(1 Peter 4:12–16
NLT) —12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going
through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be
very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so
that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to
all the world. 14
you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for
the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15 If you suffer, however, it must not
be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs.
16 But it is no
shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being
called by his name!
There is no blessing when you are insulted because you are
There is a “blessing” that comes when people give you a
hard time for being a follower of Jesus.
Jan Hus was born in 1369 and became a priest in the country of Bohemia,
modern Czechoslovakia. He was a reformer
of the church a hundred years before Martin Luther.
He taught against the practice of indulgences and the immoral state of the
church leaders. He taught that Jesus was
the head of the church, not the pope.
Guess what? The pope wasn’t happy
with Jan Hus.
He was eventually put on trial and ordered to recant all the charges
brought against him. The problem was
that most of the charges were made up and Hus refused to recant things that he
had never said.
He was convicted and burned at the stake on July 6, 1415.
Be careful about becoming a “people pleaser”.
We all want people to like us.
When we compromise our faith for the sake of people liking us, we are not
only causing harm to ourselves, but especially to those very people who need to
hear the truth about Jesus, even if it offends them.
:3 Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He
answered him and said, “It is as you say.”
:3 Are You the King of the Jews?
The force of the Greek could be translated: “YOU are the king of the
I don’t think Pilate expected such an ordinary looking of a man to be a
(Isaiah 53:2 NKJV) For He shall
grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we
see Him, There is no beauty
that we should desire Him.
:3 It is as you say
As we saw last week (Luke 22:70), this is a Greek way of saying, “Yes” or
“You said it!”.
:4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in
:4 I find no fault in this Man
John shows us how Pilate came to this conclusion regarding the claim that
Jesus was a king.
NKJV) —33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to
Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or
did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests
have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not
of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so
that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from
here.” 37 Pilate
therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly
that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come
into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the
truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he
went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
Pilate did not see Jesus as a threat to Roman rule because His kingdom was
not of this world.
John 18:37 “bear witness to the truth”
It’s at this crucial point that Jesus reminded His accusers that He’s all
We live in a society that is having a lot of trouble with the truth.
Our kids are taught in school that truth is “relative”.
What is true to me might not be true to you.
Video: OneTimeBlind – Red Balloon
I find it interesting that some of the same people who teach that truth is
relative are now complaining about “fake news”.
I think our nation’s dilemma with “fake news” is rooted in
the fact that we don’t know what truth is anymore so we spin things to make
them sound the way we want them to.
This is a clip from the old TV show “E.R.” where a man facing death wants
to know if there’s forgiveness.
There are real, true answers.
Jesus came to tell us the truth and to show us how we could find real
forgiveness and be right with God.
The truth is we are all sinners.
The truth is Jesus died to pay for our sins.
The truth is we can find forgiveness if we will
acknowledge our sins and ask Jesus for help.
After Pilate spoke with Jesus, he responded, “I find no fault in this Man.”
You’re going to see that not finding fault in Jesus is not enough.
Pilate is going to eventually give in to crowd pressure and put Jesus to
:5 But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching
throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”
:6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean.
:7 And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent
Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
:7 He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction
This “Herod” is Herod Antipas.
His father was known as “Herod the Great”, and he was the one that not only
built great structures like the city of Caesarea, Masada, and the expansion of
the Temple, he was the one who had all the babies killed when Jesus was born.
Herod Antipas ruled over the area of Galilee and Perea (east of the Jordan
:7 he sent Him to Herod
Pilate was not required to send Jesus to Herod, but keep in mind the
tension that Pilate has had with the Jews.
Pilate doesn’t want to do anything to upset the Jews.
Herod also was not normally in Jerusalem, but because it was the Passover,
he too was in Jerusalem like Pilate was.
23:8-12 Herod Trial
:8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired
for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him,
and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.
:8 he was exceedingly glad
John the Baptist had been a constant nuisance to Herod.
John kept rebuking Herod for his own immoral lifestyle.
Herod arrested John and eventually had him beheaded.
Then Herod started hearing stories about Jesus, and some were telling him
that Jesus was John risen from the dead.
(Luke 9:9 NKJV) Herod said,
“John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he
sought to see Him.
Later Jesus was warned…
(Luke 13:31 NKJV) On that very
day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for
Herod wants to kill You.”
Herod is quite the conflicted man when it came to Jesus, and now he gets
his chance to finally meet Him.
:9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.
:9 He answered him nothing
This fulfilled prophecy:
(Isaiah 53:7 NKJV) He was
oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a
sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.
:11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him,
arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
:12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for
previously they had been at enmity with each other.
:12 Pilate and Herod became friends
Herod appreciated Pilate sending him some entertainment.
A new bromance started that day.
:8 he hoped to see some miracle done by Him
Miracles and Faith
I think that sometimes we don’t really understand how things work.
Things don’t always work the way people think they do, and miracles are one
of those things.
Some folks have this notion that if God did more miracles, then more people
People want to see miracles for all sorts of reasons, and they’re not
always good reasons.
Yes, some people need a miracle because of a desperate need. But…
Herod wanted to be entertained.
There are churches where the main purpose clearly seems to
Others just like things done the easy way.
When Jesus fed 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and
a couple of fish, the people followed Him, for awhile.
6:26 NKJV) Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you
seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and
After Jesus did this miracle, Jesus began to teach some
6:66 NKJV) From that time many of His disciples went back and walked
with Him no more.
They were following Him for the wrong reasons.
After Jesus rose from the dead, there was one disciple who had missed
church one Sunday and wasn’t there when Jesus had appeared to the others.
(John 20:25 NKJV) The other
disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said
to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger
into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not
Jesus did show up again and challenged Thomas to believe,
20:28–29 NKJV) —28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said
to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I would define “faith” or “belief” as trusting in someone or something that
you can’t see.
There are going to be times when you simply don’t see, and you will still
need to believe.
Faith like that is what pleases God.
11:6 NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for
he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder
of those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11 is filled with stories of men and women who
learned to trust God, even when things were tough, even when things didn’t look
like they were going in the right direction.
Don’t get me wrong.
God does miracles.
Yet if you’re looking for the miracles as your reason to believe, you’re
missing the whole point.
God wants you to trust Him, even if you don’t see everything He’s doing.
(2 Corinthians 5:7
NKJV) For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Massey, M. B. (2016). Pontius Pilate. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R.
Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham,
WA: Lexham Press.
Eusebius of Caesaria. (1890). The Church History of Eusebius. In P. Schaff
& H. Wace (Eds.), A. C. McGiffert (Trans.), Eusebius: Church History, Life of Constantine the Great, and Oration in
Praise of Constantine (Vol. 1, p. 110). New York: Christian Literature
Aernie, M. D. (2016). Praetorium. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R.
Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham,
WA: Lexham Press.
C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Lk
23:5). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.