Thursday 05 July 2012

Bible Book:

"That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies." (v. 12)

Luke 23:1-25 Thursday 5 July 2012


Having detailed (in yesterday's passage) the opposition of thereligious authorities to Jesus, Luke's Gospel now details theattempts of Jesus accusers to prove he is a threat to the politicalleaders of his day. As leader of the occupying Roman armies, Pilatehas little interest in a local man accused of blasphemy. Thescribes know this, however, and are therefore at pains to statethat if Jesus is setting himself up as Messiah, he is they argueclaiming to be "king".

Having failed to find Jesus guilty of any crime, Pilate realisesthat Jesus is in fact from Galilee and that the Galilean king,Herod, is in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. He may havebeen motivated in part by a desire to stand clear of anypotentially unjust execution but Pilate also sees in Jesus anopportunity to ingratiate himself as occupying ruler with theregion's king.

But Herod quickly loses interest in Jesus when he fails toperform any kind of sensational miracle or "sign" (v. 8). In hiswillingness to hand Jesus over to more gratuitous humiliation atthe hands of his guards we see a lack of compassion in Herod thatis beyond belief. And in Pilate we see a man whose conscience moveshim only as far as protesting Jesus' innocence before caving in tothe pressure of the crowd and handing Jesus over to becrucified.

Luke's final words on this matter give us much to think about.Jesus has been wrongly accused, wrongfully convicted and willshortly be executed for no reason. But from this time on, Herod andPilate will be friends. Both men have chosen to further theirpolitical agendas rather than listen to their conscience and havevalued them above the life of a fellow human being. 

To Ponder

  • Where do you see the greatest injustices in our worldtoday?
  • Where do you think the Church most needs to advocate for thedisempowered in 2012?
  • To what extent can we express our faith by our involvement inpolitics?
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