(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

LUKE 22:66-23:25 – ON TRIAL?


We continue our studies in the Life of Christ.

Last week we saw Jesus submit Himself to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We also saw Him betrayed by Judas and arrested. 

This week we are seeing Jesus on trial.

Believe it or not there were actually 6 trials that Jesus went through in a matter of hours. 

This morning we are going to condense things a wee bit and basically use the account of Jesus’ trials found in Luke 22 and 23.  Here we find that Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, by Pilate, and by King Herod. 

Actually although Jesus was indeed on trial, the people trying Jesus were also on trial to see what they would do with Jesus. And there were also issues on trial here. 


Luke 22:66-71 

The Sanhedrin was the Jewish Supreme Court made up of 70 people led by the High Priest.

From the time that Jesus first appeared and started doing wonderful miracles, the Sanhedrin and all of Israel was confronted with the issue of belief. John 1:11 

Early on Jesus had stirred things up when he first kicked the money changers and merchants out of the temple. This was a direct attack on the income source of the high priests’ family who ran the “rackets” so to speak. Jesus was asked what authority He had to cleanse the temple.  His response in John 2:19 was …Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 

Of course Jesus was talking about His death, burial and resurrection. They would destroy His body and He would rise again. 

When Jesus did miracles on Saturday, which He seemed to do often, the Jews were not happy because he allegedly worked on the Sabbath violating the Sabbath rest. 

The religious leaders also didn’t like it because Jesus was always exposing their hypocrisy and making pronouncements against them.  Jesus was righteous they were not. 

As we have already said during the night Jesus appeared before a man named Annas. He had been the high priest and was now the father in-law of the high priest.  It appears to me that he was the real power among the religious leaders. 

After appearing before Annas, he went before Caiaphas, the current high priest.  Before him and others in the Sanhedrin Jesus was tried the second time. 

It was here that witnesses were brought in.  In order for Jesus to have been properly convicted of a crime the stories of both witnesses had to agree. John 14:55-59 

Caiaphas was desperate because of his unbelief to find a way to have Jesus killed.  And Jesus who had always been superior to the Jews when their were discussions in the past actually helped Caiaphas, by doing what the Son of God always did, speaking the truth. Mark 14:60-64   

But this was a night trial.  It was not legal.  So the decisions of the night needed to ratified first thing in the morning.  It was a formality that needed to be observed.

This is the trial that Luke is referring to in Luke 22:66-71

Vs. 66 – As soon as it was day the Sanhedrin met.  Finally having Jesus in their possession they would not be satisfied until they had railroaded Jesus right to the cross!    

Vs. 67 – They asked Jesus if He was the Christ, that is, the “Anointed One”, the Messiah.  Jesus knew the issue.  The issue in this trial was belief.  And they didn’t believe in Him. They had rejected Him. 

If Jesus gave them the right answer, which He already had a few hours before, they were not going to believe. 

There are people like that today. No matter how clearly you explain the Gospel, they don’t want to believe in Christ. 

Vs. 68 – Jesus was saying that if He asked them questions that would help them understand Jesus’ answer they would not answer them. As I said, they did not want to believe. 

They were bent on the destruction of the Lord Jesus. They were not going to release Him. 

Vs. 69 – Now Jesus makes a very definitive statement about His identity. He uses one of His favorite titles for Himself, “the Son of Man”.  That title comes from the Book of Daniel referring to the Messiah, who Jesus was. Daniel 7:13-14 

In this verse Jesus looks at His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven as a done deal.   

“From now on”, Jesus is saying, “I will be at God’s right hand.”  He was going back from where He had come and would wait until it was time to come a second time to earth to establish His Kingdom. Hebrews 1:3, Psalm 110:1 

Vs. 70 – The Sanhedrin probably asked this question with glee.  Jesus who had been so elusive in the past was now playing into their hands, so they thought.    

So they asked Him, “Are you the Son of God?” 

Basically, Jesus answer was, “You said it. I am.” 

Vs. 71 – Jesus was accused and convicted by them of blasphemy, claiming to be God.  

He told them the truth.

They could have believed Him.

They didn’t. 

Their belief was on trial. They pronounced Jesus guilty, but they were guilty of unbelief. 

Listen!  If you have never put your belief, your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior you are guilty of unbelief! John 3:36 

And Christian, when we fret, worry, and doubt, we too, are guilty of the sin of unbelief! 

What a slap in the face for the One who died for you! Matthew 13:58 


Luke 23:1-12    

Vss. 1-2 – The Jews were not legally allowed to kill anyone.  Therefore they had to bring those they wanted executed before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. 

Now complaining to Pilate that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy would have no impact on Pilate.  Pilate wasn’t concerned about religion. He was concerned about the Roman law and keeping the peace. 

So they made up charges against Jesus.

They claimed that Jesus “perverted the nation”, that is deceived them.

They said that Jesus taught not to pay taxes. That was an outright lie! Matthew 22:21 

They claimed that Jesus was claiming to be a King in the political sense.  Jesus played down His kingship most of the time.  His Kingdom on earth is yet to come.  He wasn’t seeking to rule then or upset the Roman government. 

Vss. 3-4 – Pilate was no dummy. Matthew 27:18   

So Pilate says, “I find no fault in this man.”

That should have been the final word, and Jesus should have been set free. 

Vs. 5 – The religious leaders were not giving up. They became more incensed.   

Vss. 6-7 – Pilate had a politically charged issue on His hands. He knew that these leaders could cause a riot that would cost Pilate His career. 

When Herod was mentioned, Pilate checked to see if Jesus was from Galilee where Herod was the Roman representative.

So Pilate sent Him to Herod, getting, so he hoped, this “hot potato” off his hands. 

Vs. 8 – This Herod was the one who beheaded John the Baptist to please His wife.  John had preached against the adultery that Herod and His wife had committed by getting married. Herod basically stole his half-brother’s wife. 

Herod was delighted to finally meet Jesus.

It was what Herod had wanted for a long time.

But Herod’s problem was sincerity.

Herod wanted to meet Jesus for the wrong reasons. 

Herod wasn’t concerned about His own spiritual well being.  He wanted to see Jesus work a miracle!

Herod had no spiritual interest. He wanted to be entertained.

He lacked sincerity. 

Vs. 9 – Herod asked all sorts of questions. Herod talked a lot.  Jesus knew Herod’s lack of sincerity.  Jesus knew the condition of Herod’s heart. 

At one time Herod had been under conviction when he talked with John.  But now Herod was hardened. He had no sincere interest. He did not deserve an answer from Jesus.

He got none. 

Vss. 11-12 – So Herod humiliated Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate.  Herod did not find Jesus guilty of anything! 

There are people who come to church or watch religious shows on the television in order to be entertained.They like the music.

They like the preacher.

They like the show.

But they are insincere.

They have no desire to do what the preacher says.

They have no true commitment to God.

They are insincere.

Make sure that you are not one of them. 


Luke 23:13-25 

Let’s give Pontius Pilate a little credit.

He knew the score.

He knew Jesus was innocent.

He knew that Jesus should be set free.

He even was warned by His wife. Matthew 27:19 

In verse 4 we saw Pilate proclaim Jesus’ innocence. 

Vss. 13-16 – This is the second time that Pilate proclaimed the innocence of Jesus.  He stated that even Herod found nothing worthy of death.    

His plan was to have Jesus beaten and released.

Even the beating wasn’t warranted, but Pilate was trying to appease the Jewish leaders. 

Vs. 17 – It was a common practice for Pilate to pardon a prisoner at Passover.  He saw this as His opportunity to release Jesus. 

Vss. 18-19 – There was a great uproar instigated by the leaders. Matthew 27:20 

They wanted Barabbas, a revolutionary and a murderer to be released instead of Jesus 

Vss. 20-22 – Pilate again talked of releasing Jesus for the third time he proclaimed Jesus’ innocence. 

Vs. 23-24 – The response was so radical, so violent, that Pilate acquiesced.     

Instead of standing for what he knew to be right, he gave in and sentenced Jesus to death.  Oh, Matthew tells us that he washed his hands of the matter, saying that he was innocent of Jesus’ blood.  But he wasn’t. He gave the sentence of death for Jesus. 

Pilate lacked integrity.

He knew what was right and did what was convenient.

He kept the peace.  He nipped a riot in the bud. 

But He condemned the innocent Son of God to death.

For convenience sake and for his own self interest He gave in. 

How often do you lack integrity?

How often do you do what you know is wrong in order to save your skin, or save a little money? 

Do you ever keep silent instead of protecting a person you know to be innocent?

Do you ever lie about your income to “Uncle Sam” in order to save you and your employer tax dollars?

Do you ever pretend to be righteous when in reality you are cheating in some way? James 4:17 




What if God put your belief on trial?

What if God put your sincerity on trial?

What if God put your integrity on trial? 

How would you do?

Is it time for you to repent?

(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.