Treating Him with contempt and mocking Him... they became friends.
Luke 22:54-23:12 from the daily reading in the One year Bible
Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, 64 and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” 65 And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming.
66 When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”
23 Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.” 3 So Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.”
6 When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.
8 Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. 9 And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other.
In today’s text it says: Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming. This fulfilled the prophetic scripture in Isaiah 53:7, where it says: He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. In Matthew 27:38-42 it also speaks of how Jesus was mocked, even on the cross: Two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. How many today, like these men, mock and taunt Jesus? How many challenge Him to show His power, saying if does this or that, they will believe? They taunt Him, not fearing His retribution. Their bravado is well founded. Jesus will do them no harm. He himself says: “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17) His response to those who mock and taunt Him today is the same as to those who mocked Him on the cross. Jesus says: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”(Luke 23:34)
Jesus does give a warning though about blasphemy. In Matthew 12:30-32 He says: “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” In John 16:7-11 Jesus says: “I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:of sin, because they do not believe in Me;of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” Just because Jesus Himself does not respond in judgment or condemnation, does not mean there is no judgment or condemnation. Even the Holy Spirit does not condemn though. He convicts, He makes people aware of sin, righteousness and judgment. In John 3:16-21, Jesus fully explains both His action and the result for those who fail to respond to Him or the Holy Spirit. He says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Very often the world likes to quote a scripture against believers who stand against darkness and evil. Matthew 7:1-3 says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Surely, as believers, we should look at others as Jesus does, not with judgment, but rather with forgiveness, with love and grace. What the world fails to see in quoting these verses, is that they too will be judged by their own standard of measure. Not believing, they will be judged for their unbelief. “He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” Those are not my words, but rather they are the words of the loving, gracious, compassionate and forgiving Christ.
Today’s text ends saying: Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other. I couldn’t help but to think how this too bears similarities to many today. There are many unusual and even impractical alliances made over a shared hatred of Christ. So bent against the light and the righteousness of Christ are many today, that they would rather ally themselves with and embrace those who would condemn or even kill them, than to believe and receive the forgivenss of Jesus. Surely for many of these, they will get what they ask for. They will indeed be judged by their own standard of measure. In the text it says: When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask a question, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” Jesus does not judge. Neither though does He deny who He is. In the same way, we should not judge, nor should we deny who Jesus is.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the I Am; and precious Holy Spirit; thank You for Your love, Your compassion, Your mercy and grace. Thank You that You do not condemn but rather by Your light You reveal darkness. By Your goodness You expose evil, and by righteousness You overcome sin. Thank You that Your response to my sin was and is to forgive. I believe. Amen.