- Matthew 27:1-26
- Mark 15:1-15
- Luke 23:1-25
- John 18:28-40
“…Then, arraying Him in splendid clothing, [Herod] sent Him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.” –Luke 23:11-12, ESV
Scholars disagree on what verse 12 actually means. One scholar submits that even wicked enemies can unite together in order to do harm to another. A second scholar believes this is an example of Christ being the ultimate unifier, that even enemies can become friends when Jesus is involved. A third scholar didn’t mention the verse at all, though he did mention that Luke was far more interested in the politics of a situation than the other gospel writers.
I wonder if the friendship was not about Jesus at all. In the workplace, there are times when people of a shared rank get together to commiserate about whatever is going on in their shared environments. Parents do the same thing. If you pay attention to social media, when someone becomes a parent, their questions to the cosmos and the responses they get center around the kids. And no matter your experience, if you warren’s a parent, your input is less acknowledged for you do not share the same experience.
An understanding develops when people share experiences. I wonder if Pilate and Herod became friends in commiseration about how to deal with, not Jesus, but the Jews accusing Jesus. Neither ruler could find any accusation to stick. Herod’s own father, Herod the Great, attempted to kill Jesus at birth. The Herod in Luke 23 went so far as to mock Jesus. There was no love lost between Jesus and the family of Herods, yet still no accusation stuck.
Both leaders had to deal with an unruly people casting unsubstantiated accusations against Jesus. The rulers seemed to know significant fallout would occur based on their decision. These two rulers were in the same foxhole, trying to get cover from the battle raging around them. Two sides that should have been united under God; one side hurling obviously false accusations while the other side chose to not respond. What is a secular ruler to do?
What is a secular world to do when they witness the same among modern-day Christians? Maybe the secular world, too, finds friendship across unexpected lines as they try to sort out the battle raging among people who are supposed to live in freedom and truth.