Sunday, July 28, 2019


LUKE 23:13-17
(see also Matthew 27:15-19;
Mark 15:6-10, John 18:38-39)

Luke 23:13-14 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:

Susie: After Herod Antipas sent Jesus back to Pilate, placing the problem of judgment into his hands once more, Pilate decided to make his decision as public as possible. He gathered together not only Jesus’s accusers (the chief priests and scribes) but also a crowd of people.

Susan: Pilate stated the charge they had brought against Jesus that He was leading the people in a riotous rebellion against the Roman rule. He told this crowd of people that he had examined and interrogated Jesus thoroughly.  Then proclaimed Him innocent of the charges. More than that, he declared he found “no fault” in Jesus. He further stated he found no reason for Jesus to be accused. He found Jesus inculpable!

The American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828.

INCULP'ABLE, adjective [Latin in and culpabilis, from culpa, a fault.]

Without fault; unblamable; that cannot be accused.

Luke 23:15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.

Susie: Pilate further stated that when he passed the problem of judging Jesus to King Herod who ruled the region Jesus was from (Galilee), King Herod did not find Him guilty of any crime either.

Susan: Pilate and Herod (long-time enemies) had agreed together that Jesus had done nothing warranting the death penalty! They both had to admit that He was guiltless.

Luke 23:16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
Susie: Pilate declared Jesus innocent but still proposed that He be flogged as fitting a lesser offence. He so feared the crowd and especially the influential religious leaders that He sought to appease them by punishing Jesus even though he had concluded that He should not have even been accused.

Susan: Pilate was the puppet of whomever he felt was the greatest threat to his position and well-being. The Jewish religious establishment was pulling his strings because he feared they would report to Caesar that he failed to squelch an uprising led by Jesus.

Luke 23:17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

Susie: There was a tradition that the Roman governor would release one criminal from prison at the Feast of Passover. Therefore, Pilate hoped he could get by with having Jesus flogged and then release him as was the custom. However, as we will see in the next lesson, the priests and scribes would not accept that proposal.

Ponder this and Apply it: Pilate vacillated because he was torn by his conscience (and as we see in Matthew 27:19, his wife’s dream) knowing that Jesus was innocent and his fear of the Jewish leaders and crowd. Even this Roman governor could see that Jesus was not a criminal while His own people sought to have Him executed. We are hard on Pilate, but I wonder honestly what might we have done in his sandals? We are looking back from this side of the cross and resurrection. The important thing to take away from this is that Jesus was truly inculpable, an innocent man dying in our place to pay the penalty we deserved. Take a moment to praise Him and thank Him for suffering your shame and pain in order to redeem you to be an adopted child in the Kingdom of God.

Monday, July 22, 2019


LUKE 23:8-12

Luke 23:8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

Susan: Herod had been anticipating an encounter with Jesus for a long time, not because he thought Jesus might be the Messiah but because he wanted to see a miracle. He wanted to exhibit Jesus as one would a court juggler to perform wonders for him and his guests.

Susie: Herod did not view Jesus as a criminal but rather as some sort of religious fanatic, someone to be ridiculed rather than feared and worshipped.

Luke 23:9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

Susan: Of all His interrogators, Herod was the only one Jesus completely refused to answer. He stood silent before Pilate at times but answered Him on other occasions. He answered the Chief Priest’s point-blank questions as to whether He was the Son of God.

Susie: But before Herod, the adulterous king who had married his brother’s wife, imprisoned John the Baptist for preaching against his adultery, and eventually presented the Baptists’ head to his wife’s daughter on a platter, Jesus fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah:

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Susan: In his divine appointment with the Ethiopian eunuch, Philip the evangelist used this passage in Isaiah as a jumping off point to explain the Gospel, ultimately ending in the baptism of the eunuch in a nearby body of water. Not a passage I would choose to present the gospel, but the Lord gave Philip a message using exactly what the man was already reading.

Acts 8:32-34 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Luke 23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.

Susie: Apparently Jesus’s accusers (the chief priests and scribes) had followed him from Pilate’s governor’s palace to the lodging place of Herod who was in Jerusalem for the Passover festivities.

Susan: The religious leaders, seething with anger, hurled accusations at Jesus like the eruption of a volcano in voices as shrill and irritating as fingernails on a chalkboard.

Luke 23:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Susie: Nought means “nothing.” Herod and his soldiers ridiculed Jesus viewing Him as not even worthy of a verdict. They scorned the idea of this “nobody” being a king, let alone their Messiah.

Susan: Herod probably selected a kingly robe from his own wardrobe, something worn and soon to be discarded. However, it had at one time been the bright robe that a king would wear on a festive occasion. Thus, dressed in Herod’s hand-me-down clothing, Jesus was returned to Pilate.

Luke 23:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Susie: Pilate had shown respect for Herod’s position by sending Jesus to be judged by him even though his motive was to pass the buck rather than be responsible for passing judgement on Jesus. Having shared in this difficult situation, Pilate and Herod set aside former differences and began a lasting friendship. Shakespeare wrote, “…misery
acquaints a man with strange bedfellows…” in his work The Tempest. Charles Dudley Warner said, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” These sayings were true of Herod Antipas, king of Judah, and Pilate, the Roman governor.

Ponder this and Apply it: Note that Philip was able to take the passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading and proceed to explain the Gospel, the truth that Jesus was the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah and that He had died in our place on the cross. He preached the resurrected Jesus to this seeker God placed in his path on the road resulting in the Ethiopian confessing his belief and desiring to be baptized in the name of Jesus. How prepared are you to answer a friend’s questions about scripture? Can you carry out the command in 1 Peter 3:15 (NASB), “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”?

Thursday, July 18, 2019


LUKE 23:1-7
(see Matthew 27:1-11, Mark 15:1-2,
John 18:28-38)

Luke 23:1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.

Susie: Jesus had been brought before the Sanhedrin (comparable to our Supreme Court). Follow this link for an in depth description of this ruling body:

Susan: The High Priest pronounced Jesus guilty of blasphemy after He answered that He was, indeed, the Son of God. The Sanhedrin confirmed the guilty verdict.

Susie: Since Israel was under Roman rule at the time, the Sanhedrin could not carry out the sentence of death required by the Law given to Moses in the case of blasphemy. Therefore, as a body, they arose and took Jesus before the Roman governor, Pilate, to seek the death penalty.

Susan: The religious leaders had no choice but to pass the case on to the governor because they were under Roman law.

Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

Susie: All who lived in Roman colonies were required to pay taxes to Caesar. The first accusation they brought against Jesus (a false one) was that He told the people they should not pay taxes to the Romans. However, the exact opposite was true. Here’s what Jesus had taught when asked whether to pay taxes to Rome and shown the coin with Caesar’s image engraved on it:

Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

Susan: Then they accused Jesus of claiming to be their king with the implication that He planned to lead a rebellion and overthrow Caesar.

Susie: In essence, they were accusing Jesus of treason, a capital offence worthy of the death penalty.

Luke 23:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

Luke 23:3 (VOICE) Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews? Jesus: It’s as you say.

Susan: Pilate was most interested in whether Jesus truly claimed to be the King of the Jews because this would be a crime against the Roman ruler, Caesar. If he were to let the leader of a rebellion against Caesar go free, it would upset his own apple cart. He could lose his position as governor or even his head! He was not so much concerned with justice as to the impact any decision he made would have on his own easy street.

Susie: Jesus’s answer seems to be ambiguous in some translations implying that Pilate called Him a king rather than Himself. However, commentators agree that the phrasing of Jesus’s answer was an admission to the truth of the statement that He was king. Therefore, we included The Voice translation’s, “It’s as you say.”

Luke 23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

Susan: Even though Jesus admitted to having kingly authority, Pilate was reluctant to condemn Jesus to crucifixion.

Susie: Pilate told the Jewish leaders he could find nothing to prove Jesus worthy of death.

Luke 23:5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.

Susan: Jesus’s accusers then brought out the magnitude of His influence throughout the nation of Israel from Galilee to Judah. They implied that everywhere He went, Jesus was creating an undercurrent of discord and encouraging rebellion against Rome. All of this was false testimony.

Susie: When Jesus spoke of the “Kingdom of God,” He was not, as some of His own people even thought, planning a rebellion against Roman rule. He was speaking of the rule of the Lord in men’s hearts no matter what earthly government was in authority. He explained that more clearly to Pilate as laid out in John’s gospel:
John 18:36-37 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Luke 23:6-7 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

Susie: Pilate’s ears perked up when he heard the word “Galilee.”

Susan: This is the moment that the bell went, “Ding, ding, ding” in his head and he thought, “I’m free! Thank goodness, I’m free!” He realized Jesus was no longer his responsibility. He could pass the buck to Herod!!!

Ponder this and Apply it: When everything seems to be going wrong, we often ask, “Where is God in all this?” It seems that Jesus is totally at the mercy of the Sanhedrin, Pilate, and now Herod. It’s a game of ping-pong and Jesus is the ball! However, God is sovereign and was using all these players to bring about His own desired end—that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. We make our plans, we make choices (good or bad), but God is still in control of the ultimate outcomes.

Proverbs 16:1 (VOICE) People go about making their plans, but the Eternal has the final word.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Week Off!

We need to take this week off to handle some family and household matters. Take this time to check out our archived posts that you may have missed! We will be back next week, so stay tuned! We appreciate all of our viewers and pray for you. Remember, you can submit specific prayer requests on our website:

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


LUKE 22:63-71
(see also Matthew 26:59-68,
Mark 14:55-65, John 18:19-24)

Luke 22:63-65 And the men that held Jesus mocked him and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.

Susie: We hear often about the Roman soldiers beating Jesus with a cat-o-nine-tails, but these men were NOT Romans. These men who had taken Jesus captive were His own people, the Jews.

Susan: These were possibly some of the same men who fell over as if dead in the garden when Jesus identified Himself with the words, “I am.” If I were one of those men, I would think I would not feel comfortable striking Jesus or even touching Him for fear of His awesome power.

John 18:6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Susie: It does seem unreal that they had already forgotten that shock. However, they hit Him, berated Him, and challenged the belief that He was a prophet (never mind the fact that He was the Son of God!) They demanded that the blindfolded Jesus tell them who struck Him by using prophetic power. The point was to humiliate Him as much as possible.

Susan: They were taunting Him with their insolent speech, but He refused to display His power for their amusement.

Luke 22:66-67a And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us.

Susie: Matthew and Mark include the testimonies of witnesses brought in and probably paid by the chief priests to bring false accusations about Jesus.

Mark 14:55-61 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

Susan: Their false testimony was bought off by the religious leaders!

Susie: But as Mark reports, they couldn’t get their stories straight. Even the ones who took Jesus’s words about rebuilding the temple incorrectly, didn’t exactly match up on their descriptions of the scene.

John 2:18-21 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.

Susan: The High Priest no longer used veiled terms but asked Jesus specifically if He was the Christ (Messiah in Hebrew), “the Son of the Blessed.” The Jews did not utter the name of God because it was considered too holy for men to speak. They did not think themselves worthy to speak the name of a Holy God, so the High Priest referred to God as “the Blessed.”

Luke 22:67b-69 And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

Susan: Basically, Jesus is saying that He can’t win here. If He says He is the Christ, they are not going to believe it—it will not change their hardened hearts. If He tries to ask them questions, they aren’t going to answer Him. And no matter how He answers their question, they will not free Him.

Susie: When we studied the gospel of John, we saw over and over the words, “His time had not yet come” (John 2:4, 7:6, 7:30, 8:20) Now, before the High Priest and the Sanhedrin, Jesus is fully aware that His time finally has come—the time for Him to sacrifice His life to pay for our sins.

Susan: Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” over 80 times in the Scriptures. It appears to be His favorite description of Himself. This would be recognized by the Jewish religious leaders as a Messianic reference from the prophet Daniel, and a clear claim to divinity.

Daniel 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Susie: The Passion Translation clarifies what Jesus meant by sitting at the right hand of God’s power:

Luke 22:69 (TPT) But from today on, the Son of Man will be enthroned in the place of honor, power, and authority with Almighty God.

Susan: Being seated at the right hand of an authority as his “right-hand man” was a place of sharing the leader’s power and ruling beside him. Jesus, being equal with the Father, being One with God, has all the authority of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) which Jesus would make clear to His disciples post-resurrection:

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Susie: Jesus was again referencing scripture that would be familiar to these Jewish leaders. This is a clear claim to be the Son of God. King David wrote prophetically:

Psalm 110:1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Luke 22:70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.

Susie: Finally, they point blank asked Him whether He was the Son of God. They would consider an affirmative answer to be blasphemy, a sin worthy of death, since they did not believe Him to be the Messiah, the Son of God.

Susan: Jesus did not mince words in His reply. This is emphatically underscored in Mark’s account when Jesus answered “I am.”

Mark 14:61-62 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Susan: These are the same words God used to identify Himself to Moses when speaking from the burning bush.

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

Susie: When we studied the Gospel of John, we saw that Jesus made seven “I AM” statements:

1.       John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
2.       John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
3.       John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
4.       John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
5.       John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
6.       John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7.       John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Luke 22:71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

Susie: Jesus had made Himself perfectly clear to the High Priest and the Sanhedrin that He was, indeed, the Son of God and equal to the Great I Am.

Susan: At Jesus’s proclamation of His Deity, the High Priest tore his clothes in utter disgust, pronounced the crushing charge of blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to death. No one spoke up in belief of Jesus’s claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God.

Susie: It is assumed that neither Nicodemus nor Joseph of Arimathea had been invited to this mockery of a trial because they were both believers.

Mark 14:63-64 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

Ponder this and Apply it: There may not be a direct application in this passage, but we should ponder the betrayal of Jesus once again. First, He was betrayed in the garden by His own disciple, Judas Iscariot. Then, His own people, the very Jewish religious leaders who should have seen His description in the Old Testament prophets, refuse to believe that He was their promised Messiah. As Isaiah stated:

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Have you come to a point in your life where the Holy Spirit has revealed to you that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth as a man in order to pay the price for our (your) sin? If not, please pray and ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you. Then surrender your life to His control completely. If you have questions, please contact us through our website: