John 19:5-8, 12-13 – The Fear of Man

John 19:5-8, 12-13
5
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

-What a startling picture of the power of fear.  Twice in this chapter Pilate declares that after careful examination, he considers Jesus to be faultless.  However, instead of standing by his personal conviction, he submits to the will of the people and fear of Caesar.  Even if he chose not to believe God, punishing an innocent man is a blatant disregard of justice, something a Roman prefect should have upheld; but that’s how fast and far we fall when we fear man more than God.  “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)  Pilate was snared and so even though he found Jesus blameless, he is recorded and remembered as the man who sentenced God Himself to death.  “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” (Luke 17:1)

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