|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-18 Little did Pilate think with what holy regard these sufferings of Christ would, in after-ages, be thought upon and spoken of by the best and greatest of men. Our Lord Jesus came forth, willing to be exposed to their scorn. It is good for every one with faith, to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings. Behold him, and love him; be still looking unto Jesus. Did their hatred sharpen their endeavours against him? and shall not our love for him quicken our endeavours for him and his kingdom? Pilate seems to have thought that Jesus might be some person above the common order. Even natural conscience makes men afraid of being found fighting against God. As our Lord suffered for the sins both of Jews and Gentiles, it was a special part of the counsel of Divine Wisdom, that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose into effect. Had not Christ been thus rejected of men, we had been for ever rejected of God. Now was the Son of man delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a Sacrifice bound to the altar. The Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice. And now let us pause, and with faith look upon Jesus. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? See him bleeding, see him dying, see him and love him! love him, and live to him!
Verses 8-11. - (f) [Within the Praetorium.] The fear of Pilate, and the apportionment of the measures of guilt by the majestic Sufferer. Verse 8. - When therefore Pilate heard this word he was more afraid, implying that John had seen all along that some element of "fear" had moved Pilate, and that now it was augmented. Superstition goes hand in hand with skepticism. Instead of this being (as Keim says) contrary to psychologic laws, the history of skepticism is constantly presenting the same features (cf. Herod Antipas the Sadducee, who would dogmatically have repudiated the idea of resurrection, crying out concerning Jesus, "It is John the Baptist, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead," etc.). We need not suppose that Pilate was suddenly affected by the truth of Jewish monotheism; but he may readily have believed that the wondrous Being before him was enshrouded in a mystery of supernatural portent and pretension that he could not fathom, and before which he trembled. The idea of Divine energy enshrined in and wielded by human beings was not altogether foreign to heathen thought - and one centurion, at least, who was probably present on this very occasion, exclaimed that Jesus was a Son of God (Matthew 27:54).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When Pilate therefore heard that saying,.... That Jesus had asserted himself to be the Son of God, and that the Jews had a law to put such a person to death that was guilty of such blasphemy:
he was the more afraid; he was afraid to put him to death, or to consent to it before; partly on account of his wife's message to him, and partly upon a conviction of the innocence of Christ, in his own conscience: and now he was more afraid, since here was a charge brought against him he did not well understand the meaning of; and a law of theirs pretended to be violated hereby, which should he pay no regard to, might occasion a tumult, since they were already become very clamorous and noisy; and he might be the more uneasy, test the thing they charged him with asserting, should be really fact; that he was one of the gods come down in the likeness of man; or that he was some demi-god at least, or so nearly related to deity, that it might be dangerous for him to have anything to do with him this way: and in this suspicion he might be strengthened, partly from the writings of the Heathens, which speak of such sort of beings; and partly from the miracles he might have heard were performed by Jesus; and also by calling to mind what he had lately said to him, that his kingdom was not of this world, and that he was come into it to bear witness to the truth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8-11. When Pilate … heard this saying, he was the more afraid—the name "Son of God," the lofty sense evidently attached to it by His Jewish accusers, the dialogue he had already held with Him, and the dream of his wife (Mt 27:19), all working together in the breast of the wretched man.
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