Luke 23:4

Beautiful in the last degree, as a moral spectacle, is the sight of the meek but mighty Savior in the presence of the scornful human sovereign. But there are many lessons which we may gather on our way to that striking scene.

I. HOW PITIFUL HUMAN AUTHORITY MAY PROVE TO BE! Poor Pilate, occupying his high seat of authority and power, is "driven with the wind and tossed," as if he were a leaf upon the ground. He "finds no fault in Jesus" (ver. 4), but he dares not acquit him; he is afraid of the men he is there to govern. He casts about for a way of escape; he at lasts hits upon the poor expedient of shifting the difficulty to other shoulders. He presents to us a very pitiable object as a man who sits in the chair of office, and dares not do his duty there. Authority divested of a manly courage and shaking with fear of consequences is a deplorable thing.

II. HOW FEEBLE IS MERE PASSIONATE VEHEMENCE! The people, led by the priests, were "the more fierce" (ver. 5), insisting that Pilate should not release the Prisoner of whose innocence he was convinced. We see them, with hatred flashing from their eyes, indulging in frantic gestures of deprecation and incitement, loudly clamouring for the condemnation of the Holy One. Their urgency did, indeed, prevail for the moment, as vehemence frequently does. But into what a dire and terrible mistake it led them! to what a crime were they hastening! what awful issues were to spring from their success! How truly were they sowing the wind of which they would reap the whirlwind! Earnestness is always admirable; enthusiasm is often a great power for good; but passionate vehemence is nothing better than a noisy feebleness. It is not the presence of real power; it is the absence of intelligence and self-control. It leads men to actions which have a momentary success, but which end in a lasting failure and in sad disgrace.

III. HOW UNFRUITFUL IS IDLE CURIOSITY. (Vers. 8, 9.) Herod congratulated himself too soon. He reckoned on having a keen curiosity fully gratified; he thought he had this Prophet in his power, and could command an exhibition of his peculiar faculty, whatever that might prove to be. But he did not want to arrive at truth, or to be better able to do his duty or serve his generation; and Jesus Christ declined to minister to his royal fancy. He was silent and passive, though urged to speech and action. Christ will speak to our hearts, and will work for our benefit and blessing when we approach him in a reverent and earnest spirit; but to a worldly and irreverent curiosity he has nothing to say. It must retire ungratified, and come again in another mood.

IV. HOW INCONSTANT IS UNSPIRITUAL FRIENDSHIP! Herod had very little to thank Pilate for, on this occasion; he appears to have mistaken a cowardly attempt to evade duty for a mark of personal respect or a desire to effect a reconciliation (ver. 12). A friendship that had to be renewed, and that was patched up in so slight a way and on such mistaken ground, would not last long and was worth very little. Friendship that is not built on thorough knowledge and on mutual esteem is exceedingly fragile and of small account. It is only common attachment to the same great principles and to the one Divine Lord that binds together in indissoluble bonds. Sameness of occupation, similarity of taste, exposure to a common peril, or the possession of a common hope, - this is not the rock on which friendship will stand long; it rests on character, and on the character that is formed by close, personal intimacy with the one true Friend of man.

V. HOW WRONG AND EVEN WICKED IS UNENLIGHTENED SCORN! (Ver. 11.) Quite unimaginable is the uproarious laughter and the keen, low enjoyment with which the actors went through this wretched ribaldry, this (to us) most painful mockery. How little did they think that he whom they were so mercilessly insulting was the King he claimed to be, and was immeasurably higher than the highest of them all! Wrong and wicked is human scorn. Often since then has it mocked at truth and wisdom, and poured its poor ridicule on the head of holiness and true nobility! It is not only the "stranger" who may prove to be the "angel unawares entertained;" it is also the man whom we do not understand, whom we may think entirely in the wrong, whom we are tempted to despise. Many are the mockers who will be fain, one day, to receive a gracious pardon from the object of their derision.

VI. HOW MAJESTIC IS SPIRITUAL MEEKNESS! (Ver. 11.) We know well how our Lord bore this cruel trial. "A silent Man before his foes" was he. Able at any moment to bring them into utmost humiliation, to turn the mocking glance of triumph into the countenance blanched with unspeakable fear, and the brutal laugh of mockery into a cry for mercy, he stood without a blow, without a word on his own behalf, enduring as one that saw the invisible and the eternal. There is nothing more majestic than a calm endurance of wrong. To accept without return the strong buffeting of cruelty, to take without reply the more keen and piercing utterance of falsehood, because stillness or silence will advance the cause of truth and the kingdom of God, - this is to be very "near the throne" on which it is our highest ambition to be placed; it is to be carrying out, most acceptably, the commandment of the meek, majestic Savior as he says to us, "Follow me!" - C.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him.
I. THIS MAN'S TREATMENT OF CHRIST suggests several things for our consideration. "He railed on Him."

1. What inhumanity. The suffering of Jesus ought surely to have moved his heart to pity.

2. The friendlessness of the majestic Sufferer touched him not.

3. His like condition to the Sufferer by his side touched no chord of sympathy in his breast.

II. THE MALEFACTOR WAS AN UNBELIEVER. He had probably never seen Christ before. On this account he was less guilty than many at Calvary that day; and less guilty than thousands who hear the gospel to-day, but still reject Christ. According to light and privileges is our responsibility. But this robber had ground enough to warrant his belief in Christ. His companion bad, yet he joined those who railed upon Jesus.

III. CHRIST'S TREATMENT OF THE MALEFACTOR. Pitying silence. He will answer no man's prayer to prove His power. His word, His Church, the Christian, are the miracles that must testify to His power to save.

(G. E. Jones.)

The Lay Preacher.




(The Lay Preacher.)

Essex Remembrancer.
I. REFLECTIONS. Here we have a true picture of human nature as it appears amidst difficulties, and dangers, and sufferings, the appropriate fruits of sin. A care to avoid pain is universally prevalent, but a care to avoid sin is comparatively of rare occurrence. Of this conduct one of the malefactors crucified with Christ afforded a lamentable example. But the other, however bad he had previously been, however much hardened or debased, was brought to true repentance. There was an invisible energy touching his soul and melting it into contrition; the power of the cross of Christ was felt, and it proved the Redeemer to be great in sufferings. Yes, this criminal became humble, his heart believed, and his faith penetrated the vail of the incarnation, realizing what was concealed from an eye of sense, even a ground of hope for his guilty soul.


1. Let us see the greatness and the glory of the Saviour's character. What power I what grace! what dominion over the invisible world!

2. The language of the text supplies a plain proof of the separate and happy existence of the spirits of just men after death.

3. The sufficiency of the sacrifice for sin made by the death of Christ, is illustrated by the case we have considered. He contemplated sinners, the chief of sinners, when he offered Himself to God.

4. What different effects may result amidst a sameness of circumstances and opportunities. Here were two of similar character, both exceedingly wicked, with death in immediate prospect; one becomes a penitent seeking his salvation, the other remains hardened in his sins.

5. The subject suggests the language of encouragement and of caution.

(Essex Remembrancer.)

To defer the time of conversion, and as a pretext for persevering in the ways of sin, the worldly-minded flatter themselves with three principal delusions.

1. One delays his conversion because he imagines that a time of sickness and suffering will present a more favourable opportunity to think of it. He flatters himself that he will not be carried away by a violent or sudden death; that a long and slow malady, during the course of which he will have time to reflect, and to make an account of his ways, will permit him to prepare himself for the meeting with his God. But how does he know whether a malady, under the weight of which the very organism of the constitution sinks, will not oppress his senses, dull his spirit, take from his mind its energy, and paralyze his faculties? Who can be ignorant that, in such a case, nothing is more usual than hesitations, adjournments, and delays, seeing the man has accustomed himself to the deceitful hope of a recovery, sooner or later?

2. A second reason, as I said, for which the worldly-minded defer their conversion is, that they suppose that at the hour of death Providence will work miracles of salvation, other and more efficacious than those which they have been able to enjoy during their life; and that the most pressing invitations of grace, the most irresistible attractions of the Holy Spirit, the most powerful manifestations of Divine love will be afforded. Where has God promised such manifestations? Nowhere. But so be it; what does this prove? When the heart is hardened by a long course of sin, will it not resist the evidence of truths the best established, and facts the most palpable, even the most powerful miracles of salvation?

3. Lastly, impenitent sinners defer their conversion upon the pretext that, at the time when they shall see death to be near, love of the world will disappear from the heart, carnal passions will be extinguished, and the soul will open itself to the influence of the truths of the Word of Life. But if the experience of many centuries is not sufficient to attest that such a time has not upon the soul that regenerating power which is supposed; that, instead of detaching himself from the things of earth, the unregenerated man will strive to attach himself more, and to cling more strongly, to measures which may prolong his existence in this world; that so far from becoming more susceptible to the beauty of truth and love, a long course of resistance renders the heart incapable of feeling their attractions, surely the example of the dying robber will be sufficient to dispel for ever those fatal delusions. Not only is this robber not touched by the truth, but he repels it; not only does he continue to sleep in the security of sin, but he is incensed against the Word; and whilst shame and remorse should have closed his lips, he unites with the multitude to insult the Saviour of the world: and to all his other sins he adds an impudent irony against the Son of God; he crowns all his crimes by blasphemy. After that, will you still count, O all you who defer your conversion, on the changes that accompany death, as if they could miraculously break the chain of your sins, or promote your eternal salvation? Three things have struck us in the history of the unconverted robber: first, that death was not startling; second, that extraordinary succour of grace was not received; third, that he aggravated his condemnation and hardened himself in circumstances, which it seems should have ameliorated his state. The conversion of his companion in iniquity presents to us reflections of quite another nature. And can you doubt, that if in this moment some one had been able to bring down the converted thief from the cross, had been able to lavish upon him the succours of art, and, in the end, cicatrize his wounds: if one could have contrived to arrest the fever to which he was a prey, to give him the use of his members; to restore him to life; can you doubt that, such being his feelings, the remainder of his earthly existence would have been other than a noble demonstration of the power of the faith and love which lived in his soul?

(Dr. Grandpierre.)


1. They were alike in respect to depravity of heart.

2. They were alike in respect to their knowledge of Christ.

3. They were alike in practice — both malefactors.

4. They were alike in condemnation.

II. WHEN THEY BEGAN TO DIFFER. Apparently it was when the darkness began. And we can easily believe that such an unexpected and solemn miracle, on such an awful occasion, did make a deep impression upon the minds of all the spectators of the crucifixion of the Lord of glory, and more upon some than others.


1. That one realized the wrath of God abiding upon him, whilst the other did not. This poor, perishing criminal was thoroughly awakened from his long and habitual stupidity, and clearly saw his dangerous condition; which is usually the first step to conversion. He might, however, have seen and felt such danger, and with his eyes open gone to destruction. But —

2. His awakening was followed with conviction. He not only realized that he was exposed to everlasting misery, but was convinced, in his conscience, that he deserved it.

3. He renounced his enmity to God, and became cordially reconciled to His vindictive justice.

4. Having exercised true love, repentance, and submission towards God, he exercised a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the two malefactors began to differ while hanging on the cross; and they continue to differ as long as they lived, and will continue to differ as long as they exist.What has been said in this discourse may serve to throw light upon some important subjects which have been supposed to be dark and difficult to understand.

1. It appears from the conduct of the penitent malefactor, that the doctrine of unconditional submission is founded in fact. He really felt and expressed a cordial and unreserved submission to God, when he expected in a few moments to sink down into the pit of endless destruction.

2. It appears from the views and exercises of the penitent malefactor, that the doctrine of repentance before faith is founded in fact.

3. It appears from the views and feelings of the penitent malefactor, that the doctrine of instantaneous regeneration is founded in fact.

4. It appears from the conduct of God towards the two malefactors, that He acts as a Sovereign in renewing the hearts of men.

5. The conduct of the impenitent malefactor shows that no external means or motives are sufficient to awaken, convince, or convert any stupid sinner.

6. It appears from the fate of the impenitent malefactor, that impenitent sinners have no ground to rely upon the mere mercy of Christ in a dying hour. It is, therefore, presumption in any sinners to live in the hope of a death-bed repentances.

7. It appears from the conduct and the condition of the penitent malefactor, that sinners may be saved at the eleventh or last hour of life, if they really repent and believe in Christ.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)


1. Death to the sinner — the death of the body, and afterwards the death of the soul in hell.

2. Death to the Saviour, who knew no sin, but bears our iniquities on the cross.

3. Death to the saint; for though on him the second and more awful death, the death of the soul, hath no power, yet he cannot escape the death of the body; for all saints since Abel have had to pass through the river Jordan, save two, Enoch and Elijah. God must be just; and nothing short of death is sin's just recompense. Oh that you would turn to Him whose "gift is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

II. Another lesson we learn from this solemn scene is, that THE UNCONVERTED GROW WORSE AND WORSE. Perhaps the lost thief was brought up by pious parents; most likely he was taught to kneel before God by his mother, and was led up to the temple, and heard the sweet music echo among its marble arches, when the worshippers sang God's praises. Often had he wondered, and perhaps wept, when hearing the history of Joseph, and Samuel, and Daniel. But, alas! he was led away by little and little, adding sin to sin, until sinning became a habit, and habit became confirmed and strengthened, till he walked openly with the ungodly, stood in the way of sinners, and at last sat down in the seat of the scorner; and though rebuked, remained hardened, and went down a doomed man to hell. You cannot indulge one sin without opening the door for others. The man who begins by walking in the downhill path of sin, goes on to running, until he falls headlong into hell.

III. THERE ARE NONE TOO BAD TO BE FORGIVEN. Art thou a thief? As the thief on the cross was saved, so mayest thou; take heart, and cry to Jesus. Art thou a blasphemer? The blasphemer, Bunyan, was saved, and so mayest thou; take heart, and cry to Jesus. Art thou a harlot? The harlot, Mary, was saved, and so mayest thou; take heart, and cry to Jesus. Art thou a murderer? There may be some such here; for God knows there are not only murders that never saw the light, but "he that hateth his brother is a murderer." But oh! the murderer David was saved, and so mayest thou; take heart, and cry to Jesus. Saul of Tarsus, whose hands were dyed with the blood of Stephen, was washed with the blood of Jesus. I saw, not long since, lying on the bed of sickness and death, a poor outcast woman, whose spirit has since departed. She spoke to this effect to a dear friend of mine: — "I have been, not five, not ten, not fifteen, but twenty years living in open and loathsome sin; but I have found that Christ will cast out none — no, not the most hell-deserving sinner who cries to Him. And now I am dying; but I am happy, for 'the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth me from all sin.' And when I am gone, let these words be written on my tombstone — 'So foolish was I, and ignorant, I was as a beast before Thee. Nevertheless I am continually with Thee: Thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory.'" Oh, whoever you are, Christ can save you!

IV. Learn, too, from Calvary. that WHEN A SINNER IS SAVED, IT IS BY FAITH IN JESUS. How can I prove to you the faith of the penitent thief? By his wonderful prayer.

(H. G. Guinness, B. A.)

Dost not thou fear God?
And what is this fear? This fear is a solemn dread of the creature in presence of the Creator. Well, then, with real thought on the Passion, why must we feel, as a prominent principle, a fear of God?

1. The Cross, my brothers, witnessed to two things — God's awful and necessary judgments on human sin. It must be so. God could not be God if it were otherwise. The atonement is nothing else but the fearful statement of Divine holiness in relation to sin. Our first clear intimations of God, it has been truly argued, are not conclusions from reasoning on final causes, or evidences from the harmonies of a material world. No; they are the voice of conscience, and the self-evident consistency of the moral law. It is always possible to conceive, so it has been wisely said, all sorts of changes in the structure of the material world, and we find no difficulty to the intellect, whatever may be said about the imagination in the revelation of its final transformation by fire — that unimagined and yet inevitable catastrophe. But one thing is impossible — we cannot conceive right being otherwise than right, and wrong than wrong; we cannot imagine created dissonances in the harmony of the moral law, and what is that but saying that there are eternal necessities in the being of our Creator? And if so, being good, His judgment must be severe, must be awful, on persistent sin. We say so in our saner moments, but how are we to feel the truth of our saying? The answer is — Calvary.

2. But this fear is also a serious apprehension of the dreadfulness of evil in itself. The Cross showed the intensity of the love of God, and, by the form of the revelation, was revealed His knowledge of our fearful danger. The genius of Michael Angelo made the Sibyls splendid on the ceiling of the Sistine from the magnificence of proportion quite as much as from the softness of colour. Proportion is the secret of lasting charm. It is holy fear that is the principle of proportion in the relation of the creature — the fallen creature — to his Creator. To see God in suffering is, by grace, to have a proportionate affection. By it we are restrained, by it we are awed and solemnized, by it we act as men should in the felt presence of their Maker, by it we learn, in fact, our proper place.

(Canon Knox Little.)

As the glow of a solemn sunrise gives to the tracts of impenetrable vapour a splendour which illumines and transforms, changing into awful beauty the cloud-folds of the slate-grey morning on the mountains, which were otherwise but the draperies of a sulking storm, so the fear of God gives harmony and colour to the more murky cloud]ands of the inner life. It is, it is indeed, to each of us a distinct and necessary element in that solid and faithful perseverance to which, and to which alone, is promised the reward of victory. Amidst the mysteries and miseries of this lower life; amidst its simple joys, its unspeakable sorrows; amidst the delirium of ambition, the intoxication of pleasure, the heart-corroding of daily care, the numbing frosts of encroaching worldliness, the blinding mists of severe temptations, we may be — if we will to realize its meaning — we may be arrested by the spectacle of the Passion; and among its fruitful and tremendous lessons, it teaches restraint of the tempest of our lower desires, brings us some sense of the vast issues of eternity, and says to us in accents which we may hear above the surge of the surf and the breaking of the billows, "Look to your Representative; contemplate the dignity, the mystery of His sorrow; whether high in rank or among (what the world calls) the dregs of society, whether with great gifts or with few attainments, walk as a creature in presence of his Creator; have a care what you are doing; live as those who live, but who have to die, or those who now in time must soon feel the pressure of eternity. Child, child of such an awful, such a splendid sacrifice, fear God!

(Canon Knox Little.)

Nothing amiss
"Nothing amiss" — what does that mean, as used here? Literally, it means "nothing out of place" — unsuitable, unbecoming, improper. Does it mean, then, "He has not been guilty of crimes like ours — of robbery, violence, insurrection, murder"? With nothing of that sort was He ever charged; and none in the city, good or bad, could be a stranger to the one charge brought against Him; for the whole country, as well as the crowded streets of the metropolis, was full of it. He was dying under the charge of high treason against heaven — of blasphemy — of not only laying claim to royal honours, but malting Himself equal with God. I take it, therefore, that in saying, "This Man has done nothing amiss," his words must mean, "He has made no false claim: He said, 'I am the Christ,' but in that He did nothing amiss; 'I am the King of Israel,' but in that He did nothing amiss; He called Himself the Son of God, the Light of the world, the Rest of the weary, the Physician of the sick at heart, but in this He did nothing amiss." Not that I for a moment suppose that this penitent criminal had knowledge enough to say all this as I have said it; but I feel confident that he had gleams of it, and that I have not gone beyond the spirit of his testimony to the innocence of our Lord. Amidst the buzzings about this new kind of criminal — innocent, by universal consent, of all the ordinary crimes, yet charged with a crime never before laid to the charge of any — some account of the marvellous works ascribed to Him, and of the words of heavenly grace He was said to have uttered, might easily reach this man's ear; and just as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so that grace which is the Spirit's breath upon the soul might send what he heard like arrows into a softened breast — as not seldom it does even still.

(D. Brown, D. D.)

Barabbas, Herod, Jesus, Joseph, Pilate, Simon
Arimathea, Cyrene, Galilee, Golgotha, Jerusalem, Judea
Announced, Basis, Charge, Chief, Crime, Crowd, Crowds, Fault, Guilt, Multitude, Multitudes, Opinion, Pilate, Priests, Wrong
1. Jesus is accused before Pilate, and sent to Herod.
8. Herod mocks him.
12. Herod and Pilate become friends.
13. Barabbas is desired of the people,
24. and is released by Pilate, and Jesus is given to be crucified.
26. He tells the women, that lament him, the destruction of Jerusalem;
34. prays for his enemies.
39. Two criminals are crucified with him.
46. His death.
50. His burial.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 23:4

     2072   Christ, righteousness
     2075   Christ, sinless
     5201   accusation
     6632   conviction
     7330   chief priests

Luke 23:1-10

     2585   Christ, trial

Luke 23:2-25

     5593   trial

Luke 23:4-25

     5349   injustice, examples

A Soul's Tragedy
'Then Herod questioned with Him in many words; but He answered him nothing.'--LUKE xxiii. 9. Four Herods play their parts in the New Testament story. The first of them is the grim old tiger who slew the infants at Bethlehem, and soon after died. This Herod is the second--a cub of the litter, with his father's ferocity and lust, but without his force. The third is the Herod of the earlier part of the Acts of the Apostles, a grandson of the old man, who dipped his hands in the blood of one Apostle,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Dying Thief
'And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.'--LUKE xxiii, 42. There is an old and true division of the work of Christ into three parts--prophet, priest, and king. Such a distinction manifestly exists, though it may be overestimated, or rather, the statement of it may be exaggerated, if it be supposed that separate acts of His discharge these separate functions, and that He ceases to be the one before He becomes the other. Rather it is true that all His work is prophetic,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

'The Rulers Take Counsel Together'
'And the whole multitude of them arose, and led Him unto Pilate. 2. And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King. 3. And Pilate asked Him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And He answered him and said, Thou sayest it. 4. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. 5. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people teaching
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Jesus and Pilate
'And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14. 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: 15. No, nor yet Herod; for I sent you to him: and lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him. 16. I will therefore chastise Him, and release Him. 17. (For of necessity he must release one unto them
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Words from the Cross
'And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots. 35. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided Him, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the chosen of God. 36. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him and offering
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The First Word
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." ST. LUKE XXIII. 34. 1. Here we are watching the behaviour of the Son of God, the Ideal and Ground of Divine Sonship in humanity. Is this supreme example of forgiveness an example to us? Is it not something unnatural to humanity as we know it? We must recall, from a former address, the distinction which we then drew between the animal in us, with its self-assertive instincts, and the Divine in us, that which constitutes us not animal merely,
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

The Second Word
"Verily I say unto thee, To-day thou shall be with Me in Paradise." ST. LUKE XXIII. 43. We judge of any power by the results which it effects. We gain some knowledge of the power of steam by its capacity to drive a huge mass of steel and wood weighing twenty thousand tons through the water at the rate of twenty knots an hour. There we have some standard by which we can gauge the force which sends our earth round the sun at twenty-five miles a second, or that which propels a whole solar system through
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

The Seventh Word
"Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." ST. LUKE XXIII. 46. The consummation of sacrifice, the union of the human will with the Divine, leads to the perfect rest in God. 1. We have tried to deal with the Seven Words as constituting a revelation of the Divine Sonship of humanity. From this point of view it is significant that the first and the last begin, like the Lord's Prayer, with a direct address to the Father. The service of the Christian man is that of a son in his father's house, of
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

March the Twenty-Seventh the Silence of Jesus
"He answered him nothing!" --LUKE xxiii. 1-12. And yet, "Ask, and it shall be given you!" Yes, but everything depends upon the asking. Even in the realm of music there is a rudeness of approach which leaves true music silent. Whether the genius of music is to answer us or not depends upon our "touch." Herod's "touch" was wrong, and there was no response. Herod was flippant, and the Eternal was dumb. And I, too, may question a silent Lord. In the spiritual realm an idle curiosity is never permitted
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

The Saviour's Last Hours.
(Preached on Good Friday.) "Praise and thanks be to Him who lifted up the Saviour on the cross as the bringer of salvation, that thereby He might glorify Him with heavenly glory! Praise and honour be to Him who by His obedience even unto death has become the Author of our faith, that so He may be able, as a faithful high-priest, to represent before God those whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren. Amen." TEXT: LUKE xxiii. 44-49. THE habit of expecting to find great events accompanied by strange
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The First Cry from the Cross
"Long as they live should Christians pray, For only while they pray they live." To cease from prayer is to renounce the consolations which our case requires. Under all distractions of spirit, and overwhelmings of heart, great God, help us still to pray, and never from the mercy-seat may our footsteps be driven by despair. Our blessed Redeemer persevered in prayer even when the cruel iron rent his tender nerves, and blow after blow of the hammer jarred his whole frame with anguish; and this perseverance
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 15: 1869

The Believing Thief
Remember, beloved friends, that our Lord Jesus, at the time he saved this malefactor, was at his lowest. His glory had been ebbing out in Gethsemane, and before Caiaphas, and Herod, and Pilate; but it had now reached the utmost low-water mark. Stripped of his garments, and nailed to the cross, our Lord was mocked by a ribald crowd, and was dying in agony: then was he "numbered with the transgressors," and made as the offscouring of all things. Yet, while in that condition, he achieved this marvellous
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 35: 1889

Christ's Plea for Ignorant Sinners
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."--Luke 23:34. WHAT tenderness we have here; what self-forgetfulness; what almighty love! Jesus did not say to those who crucified him, "Begone!" One such word, and they must have all fled. When they came to take him in the garden, they went backward, and fell to the ground, when he spoke but a short sentence; and now that he is on the cross, a single syllable would have made the whole company fall to the ground, or flee away
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Exodus iii. 6
And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. LUKE xxiii. 30. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains. Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. These two passages occur, the one in the first lesson of this morning's service, the other in the second. One or other of them must have been, or must be, the case of you, of me, of every soul of man that lives or has lived since the world began. There must be a time in the existence of every human being when he will fear God. But
Thomas Arnold—The Christian Life

The Penitent Thief
LUKE xxiii. 42, 43. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. The story of the penitent thief is a most beautiful and affecting one. Christians' hearts, in all times, have clung to it for comfort, not only for themselves, but for those whom they loved. Indeed, some people think that we are likely to be too fond of the story. They have been afraid lest people should build
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Bourdaloue -- the Passion of Christ
Louis Bourdaloue was born at Bourges, in 1632. At the age of sixteen he entered the order of the Jesuits and was thoroughly educated in the scholarship, philosophy and theology of the day. He devoted himself entirely to the work of preaching, and was ten times called upon to address Louis XIV and his court from the pulpit as Bossuet's successor. This was an unprecedented record and yet Bourdaloue could adapt his style to any audience, and "mechanics left their shops, merchants their business, and
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Vol. 2

The Hands of the Father.
"Father, into thy hand I commend my spirit."--St Luke xxiii. 46. Neither St Matthew nor St Mark tells us of any words uttered by our Lord after the Eloi. They both, along with St Luke, tell us of a cry with a loud voice, and the giving up of the ghost; between which cry and the giving up, St Luke records the words, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." St Luke says nothing of the Eloi prayer of desolation. St John records neither the Eloi, nor the Father into thy hands, nor the loud
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

The Last Season
which I shall mention, in which the heart must be kept with all diligence, is when we are warned by sickness that our dissolution is at hand. When the child of God draws nigh to eternity, the adversary makes his last effort; and as he cannot win the soul from God, as he cannot dissolve the bond which unites the soul to Christ, his great design is to awaken fears of death, to fill the mind with aversion and horror at the thoughts of dissolution from the body. Hence, what shrinking from a separation,
John Flavel—On Keeping the Heart

Second Stage of the Roman Trial. Jesus Before Herod Antipas.
(Jerusalem. Early Friday Morning.) ^C Luke XXIII. 6-12. ^c 6 But when Pilate heard it [when he heard that Jesus had begun his operations in Galilee], he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. 7 And when he knew that he was of Herod's jurisdiction [Herod was tetrarch of Galilee--Luke iii. 1], he sent him unto Herod, who himself also ["also" includes both Pilate and Herod, neither of whom lived at Jerusalem] was at Jerusalem in these days. ["These days" refers to the passover season. Pilate had come
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Dead with Christ.
Gal. 2:20.--I am crucified with Christ. The Revised Version properly has the above text "I have been crucified with Christ." In this connection, let us read the story of a man who was literally crucified with Christ. We may use all the narrative of Christ's work upon earth in the flesh as a type of His spiritual work. Let us take in this instance the story of the penitent thief, Luke 23:39-43, for I think we may learn from him how to live as men who are crucified with Christ. Paul says: "I have been
Andrew Murray—The Master's Indwelling

Some More Particular Directions for Maintaining Continual Communion with God, or Being in his Fear all the Day Long.
1. A letter to a pious friend on this subject introduced here.--2. General plan of directions.--3. For the beginning of the day.--4. Lifting up the heart to God at our first awakening.--5, 10. Setting ourselves to the secret devotions of the morning, with respect to which particular advice is given.--11. For the progress of the day.--12. Directions are given concerning seriousness in devotion.--13. Diligence in business.--14. Prudence in recreations.--15. Observations of Providence.--16. Watchfulness
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

The First Word from the Cross
In the last chapter we saw the impressions made by the crucifixion on the different groups round the cross. On the soldiers, who did the deed, it made no impression at all; they were absolutely blind to the wonder and glory of the scene in which they were taking part. On the members of the Sanhedrim, and the others who thought with them, it had an extraordinary effect: the perfect revelation of goodness and spiritual beauty threw them into convulsions of angry opposition. Even the group of the
James Stalker—The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ

Things Omitted from Mark's Gospel.
1. Just as the skill of a master artist is discovered in the objects which he leaves out of his picture (the amateur crowding in everything on to the canvass for which he can find room), so the discerning eye at once detects the handiwork of the Holy Spirit in the various things which are included and omitted from different parts of the Word. Notably is this the case with Mark's Gospel. Here we find no Genealogy at the commencement, as in Matthew; the miraculous Conception is omitted, and there is
Arthur W. Pink—Why Four Gospels?

BY REV. J. G. GREENHOUGH, M.A. "And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas."--ST LUKE xxiii. 18. You have heard a crowd of people cry out all at once. It is always impressive, it is sometimes very terrible, occasionally it is sublime. It begins in a way that no one can explain. Somebody in the crowd utters a name, or ejaculates a brief sentence. What happens? Often nothing at all. Men are not in the mood for it; it drops unnoticed, or provokes
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Luke 23:4 NIV
Luke 23:4 NLT
Luke 23:4 ESV
Luke 23:4 NASB
Luke 23:4 KJV

Luke 23:4 Bible Apps
Luke 23:4 Parallel
Luke 23:4 Biblia Paralela
Luke 23:4 Chinese Bible
Luke 23:4 French Bible
Luke 23:4 German Bible

Luke 23:4 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Luke 23:3
Top of Page
Top of Page