23Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2They began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.’ 3Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’ 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no basis for an accusation against this man.’ 5But they were insistent and said, ‘He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.’
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.
13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’
18 Then they all shouted out together, ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!’ 19(This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ 22A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.’ 23But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.
"New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
Luke’s narrative of Jesus before the Roman Prefect includes a number of unique elements. Specific charges are brought against Jesus: perverting the nation, forbidding the payment of tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be the Anointed King. Since all three could be evidence of sedition, they would all be of concern to Pilate. After Pilate asks Jesus if he is indeed “the king of the Jews,” Jesus seems to agree by replying, “so you say.” But Pilate instantly proclaims Jesus innocent of all charges. In fact, he will declare Jesus’ innocence a total of three times.
Luke’s Gospel also presents the unique episode of Jesus being brought to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. The outcome of this incident is that Antipas and Pilate become fast friends. This is Luke’s way of saying that no one is unaffected by the reconciling presence of Jesus. During the Barabbas exchange, Pilate states his intention to chastise Jesus, but neither this nor a flogging is ever narrated by Luke. Luke concludes the episode by bluntly contrasting the murderous Barabbas with the innocent Jesus.