OceanSide church of Christ

 Previous Return to list of sermons Next  Click to download Sermon


Victor M. Eskew


A.             After being tried before the Jewish court, the Jews led Jesus to Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:2).

B.              Pontius Pilate questioned Jesus.  He sent Him unto Herod.  He appealed several times to the Jewish leaders.  Nothing, however, would pacify the Jews.  They demanded that Jesus be crucified.

C.              It was at this time Pilate tried to dissolve his responsibility in the proceedings (Matt. 27:24).

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person:  see ye to it.

D.             We look upon Pilate’s actions with disgust.

1.                He knew Jesus was innocent.

2.                He had the power to release Jesus.

3.                In his fear, he sought to wash his hands of the whole situation.

E.              We hold Pilate to a high standard, but there are times when we respond to circumstances in life just as Pilate did.  We try to wash our hands of our responsibility.


A.             When children are brought into this world, God expects the parents to teach, train, and discipline their children.

1.                Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

2.                Proverbs 22:6.

Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

3.                Ephesians 6:4.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:  but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

B.              The obligation to teach and train children continues as long as the parents have authority over that child.

C.              Some parents, however, try to do like Pilate and wash their hands of their parental duties.

1.                Children become difficult to raise, especially in the teen years.

2.                Parents find that small children are demanding, time consuming, and that sacrifice of self is involved in child-rearing.

3.                Problems develop between husbands and wives.  One departs and leaves the other with all the responsibilities.

D.             God does not allow “the washing of hands” in child-rearing.  Eli is our proof here (I Sam. 2:13).

For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.


A.             The Bible often compares the local congregation to a flock of sheep.  In this figure, the elders are portrayed as the shepherds or pastors.  They have the responsibility of overseeing all the sheep in their care.

1.                Acts 20:28.

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed thechurch of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

2.                I Peter 5:2.

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

B.              As long as the flock is faithful and peaceable, this responsibility is a seemingly easy task.  The shepherd just continues to watch the flock.  It is when problems arise that some shepherds seek to “wash their hands” of their responsibilities.

1.                Members involve themselves in sin and iniquity.

2.                False teaching raises its head within the congregation.

3.                Members become unfaithful and drift away from the flock.

C.              Again, God will not allow elders to “wash their hands” from the flock.  There is coming a day when the chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, shall appear and hold them accountable for their portion of His flock (I Peter 5:4).

And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


A.             When a person becomes a Christian, he enters into a fellowship of believers called the church (I Cor. 1:9).

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

B.              As a member of this body, a person has many obligations to God and to the other members.

1.                God is to be worshipped.

2.                The Bible is to be studied, applied, and spread to those who are lost.

3.                Mankind is to be served.

4.                There are also about 40 “one another” obligations that can be found in the New Testament.  These express our obligations to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

C.              Some try to “wash their hands” of their duties like Pilate did.

1.                They attend occasionally to satisfy their conscience.

2.                They cease being a part of any congregation.

3.                They begin to attend other religious organizations.

D.             Once again, God will not allow such “washing of the hands.”

1.                Colossians 1:21-23.

And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:  if y continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; where of I Paul am made a minister.

2.                Hebrews 3:14.

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.

3.                Matthew 24:45-51.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites:  there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


A.             How many of us actually believe that Pilate was relieved of his responsibility just because he washed his hands before the multitudes?

B.              In like manner, parents and elders and members cannot wash their hands of their duties and obligations.

C.              Romans 14:12.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.