Pilate must not have thought so either. He replied, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” (In other words, “if you can’t charge him with Roman charges, then you can’t have a Roman trial.”)


But the chief priests and elders were hardly interested in a trial. They wanted him DEAD. They wanted him out of their way. They wanted him to stop coming around Jerusalem, turning over tables, running out wicked merchants, and challenging them on their views of heaven and hell and the Law of Moses. Jesus wanted to bring people to the heart of the Father. They wanted religiosity.


Big difference.


But Pilate, a Roman pagan, was having no part of it.


“Okay, so what did he do?” he asked.


They answered, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be [Messiah], a king.” (See Luke 23)


That pretty much wrapped up the taco, so to speak. A crime against Rome. A crime against Judaism. Neither of which were true. He had never said not to pay taxes, in fact he had said that they should pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. (Matthew 22:21)


Jesus had also never “sold himself” as Messiah. Neither had he argued with those who said he was the long awaited, promised One. But if he were Messiah, (and I believe He was) then he would not have been usurping their beliefs! He would have been fulfilling them.


One has to wonder if Pilate was intrigued by this accusation or angered. Especially considering that Jesus made no remarks at all. No one single peep of “Did not!”


In my mind’s eye, I can almost see Pilate, turning to Jesus, smirking a bit. Crooked grin. He goes back inside the Palace and has Jesus—a Jewish man in the middle of Passover—brought to him. Jesus, not bound by man’s rules and regulations, complies.


“Is that true? Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asks him.


Jesus’ answer is amazing. “It is as you say.” As you say.  (John says that Jesus said, “Is that what you say or did others tell you this?”)


Perhaps Pilate’s brow raised and his hand flew to his chest. “Am I a Jew? It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” (I have a feeling Pilate was stressing the word: your.)


Again Jesus is clever in his answer. “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”