What Jesus Did! 'Choosing the Criminal over Christ' — John 18:39-40

Monday, November 19, 2018

"But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to free this 'king of the Jews'?" They yelled back, "No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!" (Barabbas was a rebel.)
— John 18:39-40 NLT
Illustration of John 18:39-40 NLT — "But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to free this 'king of the Jews'?"   ——   "No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!"

Key Thought

At first glance, we look at the choice made by the people on this horrible day and wonder how they could do it. However, when we take a long look at ourselves, we are struck by the many times we have chosen other things over Christ in our lives. In fact, that is what sin often is—choosing something we want over the will and the work of Jesus! So today, let's be humbled and reminded how fickle we can be. One day we are shouting hosannas and hallelujahs to Jesus and a week later we are choosing something totally opposite to Jesus. Let's not trade the Lordship of Christ in our lives for anything else, for that would be ... criminal!

Today's Prayer

Give me an undivided heart, O God, and help me follow my Lord Jesus Christ with passion and perseverance. Open my eyes to the many things that would distract me from my commitment to Christ. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Matthew 6:19-24
  • James 4:8

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.