Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 53

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 18:38-40.

John 18:38-40 NASB reads as follows:
“Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”
And after saying this, he came out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no grounds at all for charges in His case. However, you have a custom that I release one prisoner for you at the Passover; therefore do you wish that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they shouted again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a rebel.”

There is no way of knowing on what specifically was going on in Pilate’s mind, concerning the justification for the accusations that the Jews levelled against Jesus, not to mention, the Roman authorization for Jesus’ death that Pilate could give, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to be able to read between the lines. Bear in mind, Pilate had already been warned by his wife, about Jesus’ innocence, which I shall cover momentarily.

In my research for the Scriptures covered in this post, I have quoted some of the information from the following article located at which you can view here. I am quoting a portion of this article because it provides texture to the Scriptures being covered.

“Although the Bible contains little personal information about Pontius Pilate’s wife, various historical and apocryphal records identify her as Claudia Procula. According to these records, Claudia was the granddaughter of Emperor Augustus and technically a Roman princess. But Claudia’s mother, Julia, lived a notoriously promiscuous lifestyle and was exiled by her husband Tiberius shortly before Claudia was born. After Julia’s death, Tiberius purportedly legitimized Claudia’s birth and accepted her as his stepchild, thereby securing the political connections that would one day prove advantageous to her future husband.

Claudia grew up near a Roman outpost close to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s believed that her arranged marriage to Pontius Pilate bolstered Pilate’s political standing and helped him catch the eye of Sejanus, one of Tiberius’s favorite administrators. Pilate became governor of Judea in 26 AD, thanks to the Sejanus’s referral.

As part of his governing responsibilities, Pilate reported to Jerusalem during the Jewish Passover festival to keep order and preside over legal proceedings, Claudia was with Pilate in Jerusalem during Jesus’s trial. This was highly unusual because wives were forbidden to accompany their husbands to their posts. The fact that Claudia would have had to request special permission from her stepfather, Tiberius, to accompany Pilate suggests she held genuine affection for her husband and did not want a prolonged separation from him.”

The Gospel of Matthew tells us about the dream that Claudia had.

Matthew 27:19-20 NASB reads as follows:
“And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “See that you 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 persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas, and to put Jesus to death.”

So it would seem reasonable to presume that Pilate already had considerable reservations about the crime being attributed to Jesus by the Jews, including the admonition given to him by his wife Claudia, that Jesus was a righteous Man.

After responding to Jesus’ statement in John 18:37: “Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”, with Pilate’s followup, “What is truth?”, which is ironic in itself considering that Jesus as the Son of God, is the personification of “truth”, spoken by Jesus, directly from God our Father. John 12:49 and John 14:6 refers.

Pilate apparently does not wait for any further response from Jesus, but immediately states to the Jews that “I find no grounds at all for charges in His case.” Pilate then attempts to offset their unjustified demands, by offering to release Jesus, due to the release custom, but the Jews instead ask for the release of a “rebel” or robber (thief) who accordingly would also have been scheduled to be put to death, and the continuance of carrying out of the sentence of death for Jesus.

It’s interesting to note that the chief priests and the elders were the ones who persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be released, and to have Jesus put to death. The presiding leadership of the Jews were not about to be persuaded, by Pilate, in changing their objective. In their minds, it was more prudent that one man perish, than the whole nation of Israel perish, including themselves. John 11:49-50 refers.

But this wasn’t just any man, this was Jesus the Christ.

More to follow.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. The chief priests and the elders back then was the mass media of today it seems. people believe what they are told…some things about humanity just don’t change much. Our religious leaders down through history to now have a poor track record of guarding their hearts. Then there is me. I should not take this lightly as the heart is 1st deceived so it cannot know it’s deceived; neither does it do well in believing others (2nd red flag).


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