Pilate’s Wife

PILATE’S WIFE

Matthew 27:19

While the Bible does not tell us who the wife of Pilate the governor was, the Apocryphal book, The Gospel of Nicodemus, identifies her as Claudia Procula, and a granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus. The book also says that she was a proselyte to Judaism, being among the women of higher classes over whom the Jewish religion exercised considerable influence. Her appearance is brief and all we know about her and what caused her to be included among the nameless in God’s portrait gallery, is told in thirty-eight words. As Jesus was being tried by Pilate in the Praetorium, a messenger hurried to him with a brief but urgent note from his wife. In the moment of crisis she had had a dream and begged her husband not to condemn the Prisoner before him.

When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

Because of her interest in the Jew’s religion she must have discussed Jesus with Pilate, and the urgency of her petition revealed a sharp appreciation of the tragedy facing Him. Calling Jesus the “just man” testifies to the impression He had made on her mind in contrast to the religious leaders seeking to destroy Jesus because of His claims. We can appreciate why the Greeks and Abyssinians made a saint of her, and legend says that she became a Christian, and may have been the Claudia mentioned by Paul (see href="/id/44303136-3430-4142-2D44-3441352D3330">Claudia).

Various interpretations of the dream, convincing this wife that Jesus was an innocent Man, and that if her husband condemned Him he would certainly invite disaster, have been given. The safest understanding of her dream is that it was the reflection of her day thoughts as a sensitive and devout woman of One who was holy, just and innocent. God directed that dream in order to add a striking testimony to the sinlessness of the One being tried for the truth He declared. Pilate’s wife sensed her solemn responsibility and made her plea, even though her husband who was also convinced of Christ’s innocence, ultimately delivered Him to be crucified.