Matthew 27:29
And they twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt down before Him to mock Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
The Crown of ThornsW.F. Adeney Matthew 27:29
The Actors in a Momentous TragedyJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 27:11-31
Christ Before Pilate. No. 2Marcus Dods Matthew 27:15-30
Crowned with ThornsC. H. Davison.Matthew 27:29-31
Mocked of the SoldiersC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 27:29-31
The Christian's Crown, not Gold But ThornsC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 27:29-31
The Crown of ThornsC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 27:29-31
The Crown of ThornsJ. Clayton.Matthew 27:29-31
The Crown of ThornsF. W. Brown.Matthew 27:29-31
The Thorn CrownW. M. Statham.Matthew 27:29-31
The wreath that the unfeeling soldiers pressed on the brow of the patient Christ, in mimicry of the victor's crown, with its cruel thorns to lacerate and pain, was only meant for an insult. It was one element in the torture of rude mockery to which our Lord was subjected. Yet, though quite beyond the perception of the brutal legionaries, this was wonderfully representative of the true Kingship of Jesus. He is a King crowned with thorns. Let us look at the fact from two points of view.


1. Because he was King he could not but suffer. That is a vulgar notion of royalty which regards it as a state of enviable pleasure. The king of the fairy tales may live in a palace of delights; but the king of history is better represented by Shakespeare, one of whose monarchs exclaims, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown!" Most kings find some thorns in their crowns.

2. The peculiar Kingship of Christ involved peculiar suffering. No other king wore a crown wholly woven of thorns. No other king ever suffered as he suffered. It was not the common fate of kingship that bruised and crushed the heart of the Divine King. He came to rule in the souls of men, and the rebellion of men's souls wounded him. He came to rule the wills of his people, and the resistance of self-will hurt him. He came to rule with righteousness, to cast out all unrighteousness, and the wickedness of the world turned against him. His great aim was to overthrow the kingdom of Satan and to set up his own kingdom instead of it. That is to say, he came to conquer sin and to reign in holiness. But the victory over sin could only be had through suffering and death.

II. THE CROWN OF THORNS CONFIRMED THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST. If they had only known it, those heartless, mocking soldiers were really symbolizing the right of their victim to be their king. Their mimicry of a coronation was most typical of his real coronation. Jesus is a King crowned with thorns, because he is crowned with sorrows, because his sufferings give him a right to sit on his throne and to rule over his people.

1. The sufferings of Christ give him a right to the highest honour. After describing his self-emptying and obedience even to the death of the cross, St. Paul adds, "Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him the Name above every name," etc. (Philippians 2:9). There is no merit in mere pain, but there is great honour in suffering for a noble cause. Christ went further; he was more than a martyr. He drank a more bitter cup than any other man has tasted, and he took all this suffering upon him for the saving of the world. Such a crown of thorns worn for the good of others marks its wearer as worthy of the highest honour.

2. The sufferings of Christ give him the kingdom over which he rules. He had to win this kingdom for himself, and it is his now by right of conquest. But he did not use any weapons of carnal warfare. He did not fight with the sword. The sufferings of the war were not inflicted on the territory he was conquering, but on himself, He won the world to himself by dying for the world on the cross. - W.F.A.

And when they had platted a crown of thorns.
The shameful spectacle! What element of scorn is lacking? Roman soldiers mocking a supposed rival of Caesar are sure to go to the utmost lengths in their derision. The spectacle is as cruel as it is derisive. Thorns and rough blows accentuate mockeries and scoffs. Roman legionaries were the brutalized instruments of a race noted for its ignorance of all tenderness; they wrought cruelties with a singular zest, being most at home in amusements of the most cruel kind.


1. See what sin deserved. All laid on Him.

(a)Ridicule for its folly.

(b)Scorn for its pretensions.

(c)Shame for its audacity.

2. See how low your Saviour stooped for your sake.

(a)Made the substitute for foolish, sinful man; and treated as such.

(b)Scoffed at by soldiers of meanest grade.

(c)Made a puppet for men who play the fool.

3. See how your Redeemer loved you. He bears immeasurable contempt, in silence, to the bitter end.

4. See the grand facts behind the scorn.

(a)He is a King in very surety.

(b)Glorified by conquering earth's sorrow.

(c)Rules by weakness.

(d)Makes men bow the knee.

(e)True Monarch of the Jews.

5. See that you honour and love Him in proportion to this shame and mockery. The more vile He has made Himself for us, the more dear He ought to be to us.


1. Jesus may still be mocked.

(a)By deriding His people.

(b)By despising His doctrine.

(c)By resolves never fulfilled.

(d)By beliefs never obeyed.

(e)By professions never justified.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

According to the Rabbis and the botanists, there would seem to have been from twenty to twenty-five different species of thorny plants growing in Palestine; and different writers have, according to their own judgment or fancies, selected one and another of these plants as the peculiar thorns which were used upon this occasion. But why select one thorn out of many? He bore not one grief, but all; any and every thorn will suffice; the very dubiousness as to the peculiar species yields us instruction. It may well be that more than one kind of thorn was platted in that crown: at any rate sin has so thickly strewn the earth with thorns and thistles that there was no difficulty in finding the materials, even as there was no scarcity of griefs wherewith to chasten Him every morning and make Him a mourner all His days. The soldiers may have used pliant boughs of the acacia or shittim tree, that unrotting wood of which many of the sacred tables and vessels of the sanctuary were made; and, therefore, significantly used if such was the case. It may have been true, as the old writers generally consider, that the plant was the spina Christi, for it has many small and sharp spines, and its green leaves would have made a wreath such as those with which generals and emperors were crowned after a battle. But we will leave the matter; it was a crown of thorns which pierced His head, and caused Him suffering as well as shame, and that suffices us.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

That thorn crown cures us of desire for the vain glories of the world, it dims all human pomp and glory till it turns to smoke. It takes the glitter from your gold, and the lustre from your gems, and the beauty from all your dainty gewgaws, to see that no imperial purple can equal the glory of His blood, no gems can rival His thorns. Show and parade cease to attract the soul, when once the superlative excellencies of the dying Saviour have been discerned by the enlightened eye. Who seeks for ease when he has seen the Lord Christ? If Christ wears a crown of thorns, shall we covet a crown of laurel? Even the fierce Crusader, when he entered into Jerusalem and was elected king, had sense enough to say, "I will not wear a crown of gold in the same city where my Saviour wore a crown of thorns." Why should we desire, like feather-bed soldiers, to have everything arranged for our ease and pleasure? Why this reclining upon couches, when Jesus hangs on a cross? Why this soft raiment, when He is naked? Why these luxuries, when He is barbarously entreated? Thus the thorn crown cures us at once of the vain glory of the world, and of our own selfish love of ease. The world's minstrel may cry, "He, boy, come hither, and crown me with rosebuds!" but the voluptuary's request is not for us. For us neither delights of the flesh nor the pride of life can have charms while the Man of Sorrows is in view. For us it remains to suffer and to labour, till the King shall bid us share His rest.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. The crown of thorns was placed upon the brow of our Divine Redeemer in derision of His true kingly dignity. It suggests the world's general treatment of His claims. Herod's question — "Art Thou a King?" Christ claims this supremacy on the ground of His Divine fulness and sufficiency as our Redeeming God.

II. The crown of thorns reminds us of kingship over suffering, or the passive perfection of the Lord Jesus.

III. Of the disappointments which are inseparable from the earthly and the seen.

(C. H. Davison.)

1. A striking exhibition of the intense love of Christ to guilty man.

2. The profound depth of His abasement.

3. The development of the nature of that kingdom which Christ came into this world to establish.

4. There is a description of the character, tendency, and issue of the affliction of the righteous. Afflictions prick and tear, but suffering is a crown.

5. An affecting image of the reality, extent, and the permanence of the dominion of Christ.

(J. Clayton.)

I. SEE WHAT THAT AGE MUST HAVE SUNK TO. We test forces in depravity by their resistance of good. Rome decadent! Do you know its wealth, armies, etc. It was withal corrupt, dying.

II. SEE WHAT A LIMITED POWER CHRIST'S ENEMIES HAVE. They can put thorns on His head, but none on His heart. How calm in all His sorrow. The keenest physical agony is little felt in the joyous sense of triumphant love for others.


IV. SEE WHAT IS THE SIN OF THE WORLD TODAY. Our rebellion is a crown of thorns on his heart.

V. SEE THE ALTERED VERDICT OF THE AGES. The crown was then a mockery, now a royal symbol. Learn

(1)never to be carried away by a mere temporary judgment;

(2)what a contrast we have in the glorious vision of the Apocalypse, "On His head were many crowns."

(W. M. Statham.)

The crown of thorns symbolized —

I. That Christ was about to bear the CURSE for sinful man. Thorns were part of the original curse upon the soil.

II. That Christ was about to endure PAIN for sinful man. The piercing thorns were harbingers of the cruel spear and nails.

III. That Christ was about to CONQUER death for dying man. Christ was crowned before He came to the cross; undesignedly indicating His victory.

(F. W. Brown.)

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