“If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would
not have handed him over to you.”
John 18:30 (NIV)
One of the most hurtful things that can happen to anyone is to be falsely accused of something you would never do or say. Once the gossiping people get started there is no way you can stop the false information from spreading around the world. An old proverb said, “A lie will go around the world before truth pulls its boots on.”
Initially the Jews did not wish to disclose their real reason for seeking the death of Jesus according to our verse today. They wanted Jesus to die for the capital offense of claiming to be God (John 5:18; 8:58-59). Jesus did indeed claim to be God because He is God, but the Jews denied His claim. However, if it was disclosed to Pilate that Jesus thought Himself to be God, Pilate would likely have thought Jesus simply a lunatic and dismissed Him as harmless.
Jesus was the sinless One Who was finally falsely accused of three things before Pilate the Roman governor in Judea. The first charge was a vague comment on Him perverting the people. The second charge was a lie and it was that Jesus told the people not to pay tax to Caesar (Matthew 22:15-22). The third charge against Jesus was that He claimed to be a king. Of the three the second and third would especially interest Pilate.