Matthew 27:11-15

Mat 27:11 (KJB)
And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

While the book of Matthew did not record any official charges against Jesus, one can deduce from the question which Pilate asked Jesus concerning whether He was King of the Jews. Anyone who claimed to be a king in an area occupied by Rome without Roman authority for that position can be considered a seditionist and be put to death. Emperor Tiberius had decreed that anyone who claims kingship rivals Caesar and must be executed. Many were executed during the last years of his reign on charges of “pretensions of power.” Pilate asks Jesus the question and Jesus responds in the same manner He responded to the High Priest, “Thou sayest.” This was a response of confirmation of what Pilate had asked. (John 18:36-37 KJV) Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. {37} Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. In John, we have the conversation which Jesus had with Pilate stating that His kingdom is not of this world or else His subjects would fight for Him and that He was indeed a King.

Mat 27:12 (KJB)
And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

If Pilate would have heard the words that Jesus was a king of some earthly area, then the sentence of death would have been carried out immediately. Since this was not the case, the Sanhedrin wanted to keep the momentum going because if Pilate declared Jesus innocent, then they would have no more chances to murder Him. So they kept casting accusations at Him. There are none that are recorded but they would have done their best to show how dangerous Jesus was not only to Israel but a real threat to Rome. Jesus did not answer anything concerning their accusations. (Isa 53:7 KJV) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. A fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7.

Mat 27:13 (KJB)
Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

Pilate heard Jesus make one answer to his query but he had never followed up on that question. Pilate knew that Jesus was no threat to the Roman Empire or even to the nation of Israel and had tried his best to set Him free. Pilate continues to ask Jesus about all the things they are witnessing against Him and the amount of accusations coming from them? Are you not concerned about their accusations? Do you not care what they are saying about you? These must have been some of the questions Pilate asked Jesus because normally anyone in this position would be doing anything they can to try and get free knowing the scourge and the cross would await a condemned man.

Mat 27:14 (KJB)
And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

Even after Pilate had done his best to try and get Jesus to defend Himself against their accusations, it was to no avail. Pilate marvelled or was astonished at the fact that Jesus kept so silent in the face of all these accusations. He would have been used to someone groveling at his feet for mercy or would be defending themselves vehemently but not someone who was totally silent at all the accusations. I am sure those who threw the accusations at Jesus probably thought that they had Him since He would not answer them.

Mat 27:15 (KJB)
Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

The Passover was at hand and there was a custom, to appease the nation of Israel and gain favor in their eyes, the Roman governor would release a prisoner. The prisoner would be one of the nation’s choosing. Granting amnesty to a prisoner was also a right given to Roman governors.

Back