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Pontius Pilate – The People Pleaser

Luke 23:13-16 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.

Pilate, the representative of Rome, faces Jesus at His trial. Upon questioning our Savior, the governor could not find Jesus guilty of any of the charges laid up against Him. He found no guilt in Jesus at all. In fact, in Luke 23:15-16 he says to the angry mob, “there is nothing worthy of death done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him.” He was hoping that a beating would be sufficient to calm the crowd and enable Pilate to release the man he knew to be innocent.

But this would not placate the Jews. With urgent, demanding, loud cries, they insisted that Jesus be crucified. And their voices prevailed.

Luke 23:24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

The hostile forcefulness of the Jewish leaders and the feeble acquiescence of the Roman governor (who had declared in Luke’s account three times that Jesus’ innocence), meant that Pilate, unable to stand firmly on his convictions, caved in and surrendered to his better judgement.

Have you met others, like Pilate, who are prepared to give way to their convictions, choosing instead to please others? Or perhaps you have stood in Pilate’s place? All who choose to do wrong to keep others quiet and bring about peace, will inevitably bring judgement upon themselves. (Romans 1:18).

When Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” (Matthew 27:24). Pilate did his best to free himself of the guilty choice he had made in condemning Christ to crucifixion, but God is the final authority who will judge and condemn the guilty. Like Pilate, when we have not stood on our convictions and acted accordingly, we can tell ourselves anything to try and ease the guilt. But this will never do.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

We must strive to be people that seek to please God, not others. For as Paul says to the Galatians, we are not servants of Christ, if we give in to the pressure of others and default on our Godly convictions. We may suffer rejection, ridicule or criticism, but it is better to stand before Christ unashamed, than in shame, to confess that we chose to please others rather than Him. May our praise be from God our Father, rather than from the lips of people.

Colossians 3:23-24 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Pilate was serving himself. Christians are called to serve Christ. The wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he or she has done, just as the righteous will be rewarded for the good they have done. Scripture tells us there will be no partiality (Colossians 3:25).

With this clearly etched in our hearts, we ought to earnestly endeavor to stand firm on our convictions of what we know from Scripture to be right and pleasing to our LORD. With humility and gentleness, but always firmness, state what we believe and say a resounding ‘no’ to those who try to persuade us to do what we are opposed to. With sincerity of heart, let us live not as people pleasers but rather those who fear the Lord and seek to bring pleasure to Him alone.

Heavenly Father, may Your grace help me in my time of weakness. Forgive me for the times of I have sought to placate others rather than stand firm on what You have shown me to be right and true. May Your Spirit lead me to have a holy fear of You and help me to be obedient to what You show me. Amen.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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  1. Many Christians are doing what this articles says. When a person seeks to fit in with the culture, he or she becomes a misfit for Christ.

  2. Jennifer,
    Another great message and pulverizing example of what is important, “Only God” and what He thinks is of vast significance and the only One we should please. Thank you!
    God Bless you my friend~

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