What Jesus Did! 'Priests of Politics' — Mark 15:11

Monday, November 28, 2016

But the leading priests persuaded the people to ask Pilate to free Barabbas, not Jesus.
— Mark 15:11
Illustration of Mark 15:11 — But the leading priests persuaded the people to ask Pilate to free Barabbas, not Jesus.

Key Thought

Pilate knew that the leading priests had handed Jesus over because of envy (Luke 15:10). Now they are behind the scenes orchestrating the events and stirring up the mob for Pilate to release Barabbas. Let's watch their behavior throughout this story and realize how easily we might slip from an honest search for truth into a mad frenzy to defend what we do and believe. Let's pursue Jesus and his truth so we can be set free from our petty desires to protect ourselves and what we have grown accustomed to doing and believing.

Today's Prayer

O Father, I want to seek you, your truth, and your Kingdom above all other things... including my own comfort with things I have experienced and known. Lead me to know and to live your truth whatever the cost. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Very early in the morning, the leading priests, the older Jewish leaders, the teachers of the law, and all the Jewish council decided what to do with Jesus. They tied Jesus and led him to Pilate, {the governor}. They gave Jesus to Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Yes, that is right." The leading priests accused Jesus of many things. So Pilate asked Jesus another question. Pilate said, "You can see that these people are accusing you of many things. Why don't you answer?" But Jesus still did not answer. Pilate was very surprised at this. Every year at the Passover time the governor would free one person from the prison. He would free any person the people wanted him to free. At that time, there was a man named Barabbas in prison. He was in prison with the rebels. These rebels were guilty of murder during a riot. The people came to Pilate and asked him to free a prisoner like he always did. Pilate asked the people, "Do you want me to free the king of the Jews?" Pilate knew that the leading priests had given Jesus to him because they were jealous of Jesus. But the leading priests persuaded the people to ask Pilate to free Barabbas, not Jesus. Pilate asked the people again, "So what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?" The people shouted, "Kill him on a cross!" Pilate asked, "Why? What wrong has he done?" But the people shouted louder and louder, "Kill him on a cross!" Pilate wanted to please the people. So Pilate freed Barabbas for them. And Pilate told the soldiers to beat Jesus with whips. Then Pilate gave Jesus to the soldiers to be killed on a cross.

Mark 15:1-15

Related Scripture Readings

"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees. You are hypocrites. You build tombs for the prophets. And you show honor to the graves of people that lived good lives. And you say, 'If we had lived during the time of our fathers, we would not have helped them kill these prophets.' You give proof that you are children (descendants) of those people that killed the prophets. And you will finish the sin that your fathers started! "You are snakes! You are from a family of poisonous snakes! You will not escape God. You will all be judged guilty and go to hell! So I tell you this: I send to you prophets and wise men and teachers. You will kill some of these people. You will hang some of them on crosses. You will beat some of these people in your synagogues. You will chase them from town to town. So you will be guilty for the death of all the good people that have been killed on earth. You will be guilty for the killing of that good man Abel. And you will be guilty for the killing of Zechariah son of Berachiah. He was killed between the temple and the altar. You will be guilty for the killing of all the good people that lived between the time of Abel and the time of Zechariah. I tell you the truth. All of these things will happen to you people that are living now.

Matthew 23:29-36

"You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'Don't kill any person. And any person that kills will be judged.' But I tell you, don't be angry with another person. Every person is your brother. If you are angry with other people, you will be judged. And if you say bad things to another person, you will be judged by the Jewish council. And if you call another person a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell. "So when you offer your gift to God, think about other people. If you are offering your gift before the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, then leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift. "If your enemy is taking you to court, then become friends with him quickly. You should do that before you go to court. If you don't become his friend, then he might give you to the judge. And the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. And I tell you that you will not leave that jail until you have paid everything you owe.

Matthew 5:21-26

You might think you are religious (good). But if you say things you should not say, then you are fooling yourself. Your "religion" is worth nothing. The kind of religion (worship) that God accepts is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world's {evil} influence. This is the kind of religion (worship) that God accepts as pure and good.

James 1:26-27


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.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.