Summary: The Trial: Pontius Pilate & Jesus! John chapter 18 verse 28 to chapter 19 verse 16 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(A). PILATE & JESUS (1):

Step 1: Accusation (vs 18-32):

Step 2: Interrogation (vs 33-35):

Step 3: Defense (vs 36-38a)

Step 4: Verdict (vs 38b)

(B). PILATE & JESUS (2):

An Interval (Luke chapter 23 verses 6-12):

A Custom (vs 39):

A Final Appeal (vs 4-15):

A Conclusion (vs 5&16):



• Here are a few questions to get you thinking?

• See me afterwards if you have any answers!

• Do one legged ducks swim in circles?

• If the cops arrest a mime, do they have to tell him he has the right to remain silent?

• Why do pubs and clubs advertise live bands?

• Why is there only ONE Monopolies Commission?

• How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest;

• But always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?

• Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

• What's another word for thesaurus?

• Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?

• Why do they call the little chocolate bars "fun sizes".

• Wouldn't it be more fun to eat a big one?

• What do sheep count when they can't sleep?

• If a man speaks and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

• TRANSITION: From the trivial to the important;

• In our passage this morning Pilate asks some questions.

• I make it 9 questions in our reading;

• (Chapter 18 verse 29 & 33 & 35 & 37 & 38 & 39 & chapter 19 verses 9 & 10.)

• Chapter 18 verse 29: ‘What charges are you bringing against this man?’

• Chapter 18 verse 33: ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’

• Chapter 18 verse 35 ‘Am I a Jew?’ Pilate replied.

• Chapter 18 verse 37 ‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate.

• Chapter 18 verse 38 ‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate.

• Chapter 18 verse 39 ‘Do you want me to release “the king of the Jews”?’

• Chapter 19 verse 9: ‘’Where do you come from?’ he asked Jesus.

• Chapter 19 verse 10 ‘Do you refuse to speak to me?’ Pilate said.

• Chapter 19 verse 10:

• ‘Don’t you realise I have power either to free you or to crucify you?’

Pilate asked some good questions:

• His problem was he did not act upon the answers he was given,

• And so Pontius Pilate’s brief appearance in Scripture is full of tragedy.

• i.e. He ignored his conscience,

• Instead of being true to his convictions,

• He took the easy option and followed the crowd.

• i.e. He disregarded the good advice of his wife,

• Who warned him not to have anything to do with ‘that innocent man’.

• (Matthew chapter 27 verse 19).

• i.e. He chose political expediency over public rectitude,

• i.e. He failed to recognize the truth even when Truth was standing right in front of him.

Although Pilate asked some good questions:

• He did not get the answers he wanted;

• And he did not have the moral courage to follow his convictions,

• And sadly he chose what was convenient over what was right.

Question: Who was Pontius Pilate?



• Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea from A.D. 26-36,

• Serving under Emperor Tiberius.

• He is most known for his involvement in condemning Jesus to death on a cross.


• Outside of the four Gospels,

• Pontius Pilate gets a name check and is mentioned by the Roman & Jewish historians;

• Tacitus, Philo, and Josephus.

• Records of Pilate’s reign are not good;

• He was tactless and undiplomatic, he was brutal and violent.

• It seems to me that most of his problems and disputes as Governor;

• Seemed to have been resolved by the sword;

• And always with a high price of taking much human life.


• In 1961 archeologists discovered the “Pilate Stone,”

• This finding includes a description of Pontius Pilate;

• And mentions him as “prefect” of Judea.


• In the Bible, Pontius Pilate is mentioned;

• Solely in connection with the trials and crucifixion of Jesus.

• John’s gospel has the longest and most detailed account of Jesus’ hearing before Pilate.

• And John alone records a conversation which occurred between Pilate and Jesus.


• In these verses at the end of John chapter 18:

• The Roman code of criminal procedure is being used.

• The Roman code of criminal procedure involves four major steps;

• All four steps are found in our passage, here in John chapter 18.

• And that gives us our outline for this section.

(A). PILATE & JESUS (1):


“Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, ‘What charges are you bringing against this man?’

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