But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your King?…
I. THE STOOPING OF MEN WHEN THEY HAVE AN END TO GAIN. "We have no king but Caesar." Assuredly the high priests would never have said anything like this except in the way they actually said it. They had no love to Rome and Rome's ruler, and Pilate knew it, and must have despised them as they professed to be influenced by loyalty to Caesar in all their enmity to Jesus. They were ready to say anything and do anything, however inconsistent, however mendacious, if only it helped them to their end. Thus we have clear evidence from their own conduct of what bad men they were. We cannot give them the credit of being mistaken patriots. Real lovers of their country, however exasperated, however driven into a corner, would never have made a lying confession of allegiance to the hated foreigner.
II. EVEN IF THE STATEMENT HAD BEEN TRUE, THE ACTION BELIED THE WORD. Suppose there had been a real fidelity to Caesar, rejection of Jesus was the very way to injure Caesar's government. The more subjects of Jesus there are in any kingdom, the better for that kingdom. Christians can struggle bravely against all that is tyrannous and overbearing without forgetting that human authority of some sort is an ordinance of Heaven, and must be maintained and honored. All opposition to Christianity tends toward anarchy, and none the less so because the tendency may be denied. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.