Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes – all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!” “Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.” (Luke 23:5-7)
We need go no farther than social media to find whom or what a person follows. People chat about what’s important to them. They may be enamored with a movie star, a political figure, money, or family. We should examine our own conversations and minds to see what we chase after. What or whom do we follow?
This story of Jesus’ mock trial shows leaders at work. Pilate was smart. He saw through the lies of the Jewish leaders because he had spies following Jesus. Pilate proclaimed Jesus’ innocence and knew He wasn’t a threat to the Roman government because His kingdom was not of this world. The Romans occupied a large territory, and it would go better for Caesar if uprisings didn’t occur, so, as governor, it was Pilate’s responsibility to keep the Jews happy. Instead of being honorable and dismissing the charges, he inquired about Jesus being Galilean. Since He was, Pilate passed the buck to Herod who happened to be in Jerusalem.
On the other hand, the Jewish leaders were insistent, bullies who told lies about Jesus. Jesus’ teachings of God and love didn’t incite riots. Their lies were manipulative, appealing to the political aspirations of Pilate. They also said, “If you let this man go you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19:12)
There was another leader present, the quiet one. The One who listened to Jewish leaders lie about Him and said nothing. The One who heard Pilate declare his innocence and didn’t ask, “Then why don’t you set me free.” The One who didn’t call for His legion of angels. The One who took our sins to the cross with Him to set us free.
Hopefully, we choose Jesus as our leader and follow Him to the cross. If we leave our baggage there, we can follow God’s will with greater ease.
Father God, I love you! Thank you for Jesus! Give me the power of Your Holy Spirit to leave _____ at the cross and follow Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.