Jesus Before Herod
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.
8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.”
Observations and Reflections
Luke seems to play up the notion that Herod was intrigued by Jesus. Recall in that Luke 9:9 Herod was also fascinated by Jesus.
Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him. (Luke 9:9)
This is a unique feature in Luke and Mark, however, in Mark Herod wonder’s aloud if Jesus is actually a resurrected John the Baptist. No doubt that Herod was quite familiar with the name of Jesus as he was procurator over Syria (which includes Galilee). He had basically the same role as Pilate except in different regions. They were both liable to the Roman Emperor, however.
Nevertheless, Herod’s pleasure to meet Jesus turns quickly into displeasure as the scribes and chief priests attempt to make a case for Jesus’ crucifixion. It is hard to say if Herod was for or against crucifying Jesus but just by looking at the text, Luke seems to be of the opinion that Herod was unwilling to kills him, yet, he was willing to use him for jest. So much so, that Pilate and Herod were able to bond over the experience.
Unfortunately for the Jewish leaders, Pilate was neither willing kills Jesus for them…. at least not yet.
It is interesting to note that both authoritative figures of that time found absolutely no fault in Jesus. It is even more interesting to see how these two leaders became friends over the common ground of finding Jesus completely innocent of all charges. This once again paints a picture of how innocent Jesus was when going to the cross.
His authority as being the son of God and all the things He did throughout His ministry could not be challenged. No matter how angry the chief priests and the scribes got, they could not silence the overwhelming and undeniable power that Jesus Christ had and still has over this world.
They were not able to find any fault in Him. Jesus Christ stood there innocent and yet still ready to take on the sins of the world regardless of the cost. Both Pilate and Herod said exactly what our hearts need to hear (vs 15) “Look, nothing deserving of death has been by him”. Jesus did nothing to deserve death let alone any punishment.
Despite the fact that Pilate and Herod found Him innocent, He still went to the cross because sin would have still ruled and the goal was that Jesus had to find victory over our sin in order to make things right.
Our hearts need to be reminded of this fact because we are the ones who were found guilty of sin. We are the ones who allowed for sin to rule and reign in our lives and because of that, we deserved the punishment of death. Yet, because of the love Jesus had for us, He decided to put an end to sins reign and pay the penalty to put sin to death once and for all.