Better Listen to Pilate

Pilate knew that it was out of envy that the leaders of the Jews delivered Jesus up (Mat 27:18). We know that Pilate was not a godly or a courageous man — he failed to deliver Jesus even though he knew He was being railroaded, and even though his wife had sent him a message warning him about the whole situation (Matt. 27:19). Now, since Pilate was not sitting on some biblical insight perch, how could he see this sin — a notoriously difficult sin to see?

Well, it is only difficult to see when you are in the envy zone. Pilate was standing right next to it, but he was not wired up to the envy feedback loop. He was not a Jew, and he did not care about all the things that the Jews cared about. Pilate didn’t even want a wide phylactery, but the men who hauled Jesus before him all had those boxes tied onto them in prominent places . . . and Jesus had made fun of all that. They were all little rabbis, and Jesus taught like no rabbi ever had.

Pilate was not a tither of mint, dill and cummin, although he did wind up missing the weightiest matter of the law. But even then, he missed it because of cowardice, straight up, and his hand was forced. He was under no delusions about Jesus. But the lords of the covenant, the revs and archbishops, had their robes all in a knot.


The application should be obvious. That place right next to you, the place where you think you see the situation most clearly, might contain the kind of glaring sin that only a pagan like Pilate could see.

Theology That Bites Back



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