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Jesus Before Pilate

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in John 18:28-40, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

It was very early in the morning. Jesus was taken to see a leader named Pilate, who was in charge of the city. The people who took Jesus didn’t want to go inside Pilate’s so they could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to talk to them and asked them why they brought Jesus to him.

Pilate asked them, “What did this man do wrong?” They told Pilate, “If he wasn’t doing something wrong, we wouldn’t have brought him here.”

Pilate went back inside his building and asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”

Pilate said, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Pilate asked Jesus again if he was a king. Jesus said, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about and asked, “What is truth?”

Then, Pilate went back outside to talk to the people. He told them that he didn’t find any guilt in Jesus and that he wanted to let him go. But it was a tradition to release one prisoner during a special holiday called Passover. Pilate asked the people if they wanted him to release Jesus, the King of the Jews. But the people didn’t want Jesus to be released. They wanted a man named Barabbas to be released instead. Barabbas was a robber and a criminal.

Biblical Lessons

  • Jesus was born to share the truth with people.
  • Sometimes people don’t understand what we’re trying to say, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying to share the truth.

Related Stories

The Birth of Jesus Christ

The Trial Before Felix

The Last Supper

The Death of Jesus

The Resurrection

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