And from thereafter Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If you let this man go, you are not Caesar's friend…
Was Pilate exceptionally weak in this thing? He wanted to be of service to Jesus, but he was not quite ready to be ruined for Him. There are corresponding tests of fidelity to the right in every man's experience all the way along in life. A public official or representative has to decide whether he will yield to some unjust popular clamour in behalf of a special interest, or against an obnoxious class, or lose all his hopes of promotion and even all fair prospect of well doing in the public service. A business man must meet the question whether he will conform to some established method of wrong-doing in the line of his business, or abandon his prospects of "success" in life. An employe finds himself face to face with the problem, how he can do the work that is required of him, at the times when it is called for, consistently with his conscience and the law of God; and whether he is willing to accept the consequences of standing out against the necessities of his employment as it is. The position of Pilate was, after all, no more trying than is the position of almost every man who faces Christ and Christ's cause to-day; and now, as always, only he who is ready to lose his life, and to lose a great deal more than life, for the sake of Christ, can fairly be called a true and faithful servant of Christ. Pilate was weak under such a pressure as this. Would to God he had been the last weak one in such an emergency!
(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.