Daily Word

Who’s in control? | Matthew 27:19-23

19 And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “See that you have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for [ h ]last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas, and to put Jesus to death. 21 And the governor [ i ]said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”

22 Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all *said, “[ j ]Crucify Him!” 23 But he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” Yet they kept shouting all the more, saying, “[ k ]Crucify Him!”

Matthew 27:19-23 (NASB) 中文

Roman court continues

Jesus is being judged by Pilate, having been brought before him by the Jewish leaders. He’s also been brought before Herod by this point as Luke records (Luke 23:7-12) and sent back to Pilate. These Jewish leaders have convicted Jesus of blasphemy in their Kangaroo Court. And Pilate is seeking to get Jesus released. It seems that he is convinced that Jesus is not guilty.

What’s going on here?

So what’s going on here? Pilate is trying to save Jesus from execution. But he has to balance that with a Jewish crowd that is growing increasingly antagonistic and desirous for Jesus’ death. To make matters worse, their thinking is being manipulated by the Jewish leaders. 

Who is this Barabbas?

Regarding Barabbas, in the previous post we looked at Barabbas as an exceptionally bad character; one Pilot could use to get Jesus freed. But one of the commentators I follow has this to say about Barabbas: “Many of the Jews would have viewed Barabbas as a hero rather than as a villain. He was more of a messianic figure, in the minds of most Jews, than Jesus was.” (planobiblechapel.org) He also notes that Barabbas means “son of the father.” Whereas Jesus is the Son of the Father!


Then Pilate’s wife has a dream that #1, she remembers (most of us don’t remember dreams) but more, was quite vivid and revelatory. We don’t know what she saw but it caused her great fear. Maybe she saw Jesus as more than just a healer and teacher, but God on high?

No matter, it caused her to appeal to her husband to let Jesus go free. Did God send this dream? It surely seems more than coincidental, and God loves to smash the idea of coincidence.


  • Who is in control of your life? We can surely make decisions for ourselves that impact our lives, and that of others. At the same time, God is working His will in the world. How and where do these intersect and overlap?
Puppet being controlled. Image from pxfuel.com

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