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The Blessing of the Wise

36 A poetic song, by King David, the servant of the Lord
The rebellion of sin speaks as an oracle of God,
speaking deeply to the conscience of wicked men.[a]
Yet they are still eager to sin,
for the fear of God is not before their eyes.
See how they flatter themselves,
unable to detect and detest their sins.
They are crooked and conceited,
convinced they can get away with anything.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 36:1 Or “The heart of the wicked is rebellious to the core.”

Purified from Sin

If we boast that we have no sin, we’re only fooling ourselves and are strangers to the truth.

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17 For you claim, “I’m rich and getting richer—I don’t need a thing.”[a] Yet you are clueless that you’re miserable, poor, blind, barren, and naked!

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Footnotes

  1. Revelation 3:17 Although Laodicea was known as a very prosperous city, a financial center of the region, Christ’s estimation of them was that they were spiritually poor. Only in Christ are we made rich (2 Cor. 8:9).

12 From then on Pilate tried to find a way out of the situation and to set him free, but the Jewish authorities shouted him down: “If you let this man go, you’re no friend of Caesar! Anyone who declares himself a king is an enemy of the emperor!”[a]

13 So when Pilate heard this threat, he relented and had Jesus, who was torn and bleeding, brought outside. Then he went up the elevated stone platform and took his seat on the judgment bench—which in Aramaic is called Gabbatha,[b] or “The Bench.” 14 And it was now almost noon. And it was the same day they were preparing to slay the Passover lambs.[c]

Then Pilate said to the Jewish officials, “Look! Here is your king!”

15 But they screamed out, “Take him away! Take him away and crucify him!”

Pilate replied, “Shall I nail your king to a cross?”

The high priests answered, “We have no other king but Caesar!”

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Footnotes

  1. John 19:12 In essence, these words were a form of blackmail as the Jewish authorities were reminding Pilate that it would ruin his career if he pardoned Jesus. The term “friend of Caesar” was an honorific title given only to the ruling wealthy class of Romans who would have access to the emperor’s court. Many of these friends of Caesar were senators and members of the Equestrian Order, known also as the Knights. Pilate’s position was a political appointment due to his being a member of this elite class of Romans who took an oath of loyalty to Caesar. They were, in effect, threatening to inform Rome that Pilate was allowing treason in Caesar’s empire. As one historian remarked, “One false move and his appointment would be cancelled and his career finished” (P. Barnett, Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1999, p. 147). This overruled Pilate’s desire to set Jesus free. He went on to condemn him to death. To place your career over Jesus is never wise.
  2. John 19:13 Gabbatha is an Aramaic compound word meaning “on the side of the house” (gab, “on the side,” and batha, “the house”). This would be a stone bench that was used by Pilate to issue sentence. See 2 Chron. 7:3; Ezek. 40:17.
  3. John 19:14 Jesus, our Passover Lamb, would be crucified at the very moment Jewish priests were slaughtering lambs in the temple. See Ex. 12:6. Because there were so many lambs to be killed, the priesthood in that day extended the time of slaughter from noon to twilight—the very hours Jesus was on the cross.

Jesus Condemned to Death

24 When Pilate realized that a riot was about to break out and that it was useless to try to reason with the crowd, he sent for a basin of water. After washing his hands[a] in front of the people, he said, “I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man.[b] The responsibility for his death is now yours!”[c]

25 And the crowd replied, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 27:24 See Deut. 21:6-7.
  2. Matthew 27:24 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew and the Aramaic.
  3. Matthew 27:24 The Aramaic is “You do as you please!”