What Jesus Did! 'Not Guilty' — Luke 23:1-4

Friday, December 15, 2023

Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: "This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king."

So Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

Jesus replied, "You have said it."

Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, "I find nothing wrong with this man!"

— Luke 23:1-4 NLT

Key Thought

The charges that the enemies of Jesus present are all lies. Pilate sees through these lies and goes to the crucial question: Is Jesus King of the Jews? Jesus acknowledges that he is. Pilate pronounces him not guilty. In fact, in the Gospel of Luke and in his companion volume, the book of Acts, Roman officials are repeatedly looking on Jesus and his disciples with favor. Unfortunately, however, political expediency often wins out over truth — as it does later with Pilate. [1] Finding nothing wrong with Jesus, even recognizing him as an important teacher or a righteous leader, is not enough. Do we believe he is the Son of God, our Savior and Lord? Are we willing to base our lives on his death, burial, and resurrection by confessing him and sharing in his death, burial, and resurrection through baptism — death to our old lives, burial in the baptismal water, and resurrection to a new life of commitment to Jesus and service in his Kingdom? [2] Do we believe that he can transform us totally by pouring his Holy Spirit into our hearts and working his will in our lives? For us, Jesus must be far more than a good guy and a great teacher. He must be our Lord! If he is not, then we will simply relegate him to some convenient place in our lives rather than letting him totally transform us.

[1] Luke 23:23-24.
[2] Romans 6:3-6.

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, please do your work in my life. I believe that Jesus, your Son, is the Messiah, my Savior, and my Lord. I fully trust that he lived on earth as a human like me and that he gave up his life on the cross, that he was buried, and that you raised him from the dead. Please conform me to his character through the Holy Spirit, who is at work in me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 10:9-13
  • Romans 6:3-8
  • Titus 3:3-7


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Illustration of Luke 23:1-4 NLT — "I find nothing wrong with this man!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

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.