Pilate’s Assignment

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Tiberius was known to be a procrastinator. Even though he was the emperor of the Roman Empire, he could be unpredictable, demonstrated by how he decided appointments for key positions. Instead of focusing on a candidate’s background, he had his own criteria. In her biography of Pontius Pilate, Ann Wroe describes how Tiberius might appoint governors “on a whim, on no formal recommendation.” Candidates of “outstanding merit” could be rejected because they might pose a threat to Tiberius.

Tiberius was also known to appoint friends to positions. One governor was appointed after 36 hours of binge drinking with the Emperor, leading Tiberius to provide this endorsement: “A good fellow at all hours, day, or night!”

This was the environment in which Pilate ruled Judea. His orders were to be “invisible,” and “keep himself as much as possible out of Jewish life.”

Jesus provided a threat to the peace Pilate was expected to maintain. In his face-to-face encounter with Him, Pilate might have made some attempt to provide a fair trial. Yet, he could not have forgotten his mandate, and expectations of men like Tiberius.

In the end, Pilate did what seemed practical: He went along with the mob. Keeping them in order was more important to him than the truth.

Today, many people place a higher priority on popularity than truth. They don’t want to rock the boat, but prefer to go along with the crowd.

How about you? Taking a stand for Jesus might not be popular, but always remember that serving God should be your highest priority. Make sure that He is pleased with your decisions.