Luke 23:1-25

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord’s Civil Trial Before Pilate and Herod

Luke 23:1-25

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Lesson Number 57

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Herod confirmed the innocence of Jesus.
  2. Pilate declared the innocence of Jesus.

Practical Application

  1. Examine the bottom life of your friendships!


  1. Outline the phases of the Lord’s trial.
  2. Why did the Sanhedrin bring the Lord before Pilate?
  3. Review the false charges against the Lord.
  4. Was this Herod the one who killed the babies in Bethlehem and built the Temple?
  5. How many times did Pilate declare the Lord’s innocence?


  1. The Lord really had two trials, with three stages each. Religious trial: before Annas the high priest before Caiaphas the high priest before the Sanhedrin Civil trial: before Pilate before Herod back before Pilate
  2. Because the Sanhedrin did not have the authority to carry out the death penalty
  3. 1) He mislead the nation 2) He told the people not to pay their taxes 3) He was proclaiming Himself as king
  4. No, that was Herod the Great (who was never called great in the Bible!) This was one of his sons, Herod Antipas. This is the Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded and whom the Lord called “that fox” in Luke 13:32.
  5. Three times (verses 4, 14, and 22). Pilate’s wife also declared the innocence of Jesus in Matthew 27.


  1. Pilate and Herod had been enemies, but now they become friends. The bottom line of their friendship was their contempt and unjust treatment of Jesus. Discuss the bottom line of your friendships with fellow believers? Are they healthy or harmful?


  1. Even though the Lord was totally and completely innocent, Pilate yielded to political and crowd pressure to release to them Barabbas who was a known criminal. Have you been convinced that something is right, but then yielded under pressure? Stand firm! Stand up for what you know is right and true!

Key Verses

  • “Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.” Luke 23:8
  • “Then he said to them the third time, ‘Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.’” Luke 23:22

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