We all must contend with many dissenting voices in our lives today. Voices telling us what to do, what not to do, what is right, what is wrong. How do we know which voices to listen to? This is the problem Pontius Pilate contended with in today’s text (Luke 23:13-25)
For your personal study, the following is today’s text woven together in harmony with the other Gospels taken from, “The Merged Gospels”…
#275. Pilate Declares Jesus’ Innocence – MT 27:15-26a, MK 15:6-15a, LK 23:13-25a, JN 18:39-40 (Location – The Praetorium in Jerusalem, Passover, 30 AD.)
And Pilate, calling together the chief priests and the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You brought this Man to me as One misleading the people. And behold, I have examined Him before you, and I have found no guilt in this Man regarding those things that you bring forward against Him. No, not even Herod, for he sent Him back to us, and behold, nothing worthy of death was done by Him. Therefore, I will chastise and release Him.” But at the feast the governor was obliged to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And at that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, the man called Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. He was one who had been bound (and) thrown into prison with the insurrectionists, who had, for a certain insurrection, committed murder in the city. And therefore, when they were gathered together, the crowd went up, and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. But wanting to release Jesus, Pilate answered them, saying to them again, “But you have a custom, that I should release someone for you at the Passover. Whom, therefore, do you want me to release for you – Barabbas or Jesus, Who is called ‘Christ’, the ‘king of the Jews’,” for he knew that the chief priests had delivered Him up because of envy. And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man, for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” But the chief priests and the elders excited the crowd to ask for him to release for them Barabbas instead, and to put Jesus to death. And the governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” Then again they all cried out altogether, saying, “Not this Man! Away with this Man, and release for us Barabbas!” And answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what will I do with Him Who is called ‘Christ’, Whom you call the ‘king of the Jews’?” They all kept on calling out, saying to him, “Let Him be crucified! Crucify Him!” And Pilate, [the governor] said to them the third time, “Why? What evil has He done? I have found no guilt in Him demanding death. Therefore, I will punish Him, and release Him.” But they were insistent with loud voices, (and) kept shouting all the more, asking that He be crucified, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” And their voices began to prevail. And Pilate, seeing that it profited nothing, but rather a riot was made, took water, and he washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent from the blood of this [righteous] One. You will see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood is upon us, and upon our children!” And wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate pronounced a sentence, that their demand should be granted. And Pilate released Barabbas to them, the man they were asking for, who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder.
Let’s learn from Pilate’s mistake. May God grant us both the discernment to know which voices to listen to and the courage to do the things we ought.