Give us Barabbas!


I recently read a blog post (this teaching was written several years ago) by Deborah over at Discerning the World where she mentioned the fact that there were two Jesus’ in the New Testament:

A while ago I had a discussion with my mother about Jesus’ trial where He was condemned to be crucified and Barabbas was set free – Matthew 27 v 11-26. And my mother said to me, ‘did you know Barabbas’ name was also Jesus’. I said, ‘you’re kidding me!’ I didn’t know this and had over looked it and so off I went to do some research. Low and behold folks his name was Jesus Barabbas. Even more amazing is that Barabbas means, ’son (bar) of the father (abba)’. Two Jesus’, one who’s father is God and one who’s father is Satan. The people condemned Jesus the Son of God to be crucified and set free the Jesus who is a son of Satan.”

This made me a little more than curious so I did some investigating. In Matthew 27: 16 – 17 the Bible states:

16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

There was only one English translation that I could find that mentioned that Barabbas’ first name was Jesus, but it IS there in the original Greek:

Mt 27:17

Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

sunhgmevnwn ou\n aujtw’n ei\pen aujtoi’ß oJ Pila’toß, Tivna qevlete ajpoluvsw uJmi’n, Í*jihsou’n to;nÑ Barabba’n h^ #Ihsou’n to;n legovmenon Xristovn;

Í*jihsou’n means Iesous or Jesus in English.

So the literal translation would read “”Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus who is called Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Give us Barabbas! 

Matthew  27: 20  “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death”

By urging the crowd to release Jesus Barabbas and destroy Jesus the Messiah, they were actually calling out for the son of their true father:

The Name Jesus, literally Joshua, in Hebrew means “God is Salvation”.   They were litterally saying “give us god is salvation, the son of the father”.   Jesus had told them earilier that their father was the devil or satan!

John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

They were carrying out their true father’s desires!   This son of this father, satan, would bring them “salvation” from Rome through rebellion, lying, revolt and murder to possess a NATURAL KINGDOM ON EARTH!    Barabbas represented the spirit of anti-christ because Jesus said “MY Kingdom is NOT of this world” and the Kingdom of God comes WITHOUT OBSERVATION”

What happened to Barabbas’ first name?

His full name was probably Jesus Barabbas, which appears in in the Syrian and Armenian versions of Matthew 27:16-17. A number of scholars, including William Barclay, D. A. Carson, Robert Gundry, and Klaas Schilder, seem to accept this reading. D. A. Carson wrote, “On the whole it is more likely that scribes deleted the name [Jesus from Jesus Barabbas] out of reverence for Jesus [Christ] than added it in order to set a startling if grotesque choice before the Jews,”1 and I agree with that reasoning. If Barabbas was also called Jesus, he had a very common name in the New Testament times. Jesus is the same as Joshua, and we read of another Jesus in Acts 13 in the account of a Jewish sorcerer Elymas whose family name was Bar-Jesus, meaning the son of Jesus.” [1]

Matt 27 goes on to say in verse 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.

In his sermon entitles “The Clear Choice: Jesus or Barabbas” By P. G. Mathew, M.A., M.Div., Th.M. says:

Jesus Barabbas and Jesus Christ, represent a clear choice as far as our spiritual destiny is concerned. Each represents a different kingdom and a different way of entering that kingdom. Jesus Barabbas represents the kingdom of this world, meaning trying to find salvation in this world. This kingdom is entered through human efforts, specifically through the use of human power, including violence. Jesus Christ represents the kingdom of God which we enter in meekness through faith. We must realize that there are no other alternatives for our spiritual destiny. Every person who ever lives will either choose the one called Barabbas–the kingdom of this world–or the one called Christ–the kingdom of God.”

His name and nature.

Barabbas” is a family name, “bar” meaning “son of”. Just as Peter is called Simon bar Jonah, Barabbas means “son of the father”.

The nature of Jesus Barabbas was sinful and fallen in that he led an insurrection or riot (Mark 15:7), He was a murderer and caused a rebellion (Luke 23: 18 – 19) and he was a robber (John 18: 40).

According to Josephus the word used for robber, lestes, refers to members of the nationalist movement called Zealots, (political freedom fighters whose goal was to free the nation from Roman occupation) who supported themselves by robbery. Barabbas may have been a member of that movement.” [2]

This Jesus Barabbas had the very nature of the “anti, or “instead” of Christ as he manifested the nature of his father. The Bible tells us the Satan is a murderer. Barabbas was of his father the devil.

Joh 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Ezekiel 28: 15 “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.”

Joh 10:1 – “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.”

Jesus the Messiah, said that he was the doorway to the sheepfold and the only way to the Father. He came to establish a kingdom that was NOT of this world. He came in humility and only did what he heard the Father tell him to do.

Their missions:

Barabbas sought to bring liberty to the Jews through National Zionism. Jesus Christ brought liberty to all men through his humbling himself unto death and thereby establishing his Kingdom in the hearts of men, redeeming them from this fallen world.

The liberation that anti (instead of) Christ brings comes through the political systems of this world “He was a political animal who believed in self-redemption, not in redemption through a messiah. The Bible calls him an insurrectionist, using a Greek word that means one who rises up against the existing authority and institutions–a seditionist, in other words. Barabbas had no interest in trusting in the coming Messiah. He wanted to become the savior of the Jewish people through rebellion and attempted to liberate them from the yoke of Rome through political means.” [ 3]

This is the motivation behind the Dominionist theology that is popular today.

Dominion theology is the belief that Christians have a divine right to fill, and if necessary seize positions of power in the society and government. For most of them, in the end times (which, they believe, we are in or on the brink of), God will create special leaders who will overcome the world, destroy the enemies of Christ and attain ruling power (‘dominion’) throughout the world, ushering in the Kingdom of God. Some of the leading Pentecostal preachers use elements of dominionist ideas when preaching, and use terms inferring that such leaders will come from their own ranks. … It’s sometimes referred to as “Kingdom Now” or “Christian Reconstructionism” (although the latter term is sometimes used for earlier and less strict movements that have little to do with today’s dominion thinking.)

Modern Dominion believers envision a future where the “manifest sons of God” (sometimes known as ‘Joel’s Army’), a spiritually-empowered elite, will be armed with supernatural power for the purpose of wresting control of the world from the hands of Satan’s slaves. Their predecessors today are the “mighty men of God” who, while not quite of the same level of power, are nonetheless the ones faithful Christians are to take their marching orders from. They are to exercise “heavenly” dominion over whatever aspects of life they can. In some versions of this concept, the manifest children will already have perfected new Kingdom-bodies, and they will be able to stride across the earth with the power of gods. The manifest sons will have a “Joshua Generation” or “Caleb generation” as followers, the faithful few whom God will greatly empower. The manifest sons and Joshua generation would exercise dominion over society, establish the Kingdom, complete the Church, and (a few even whisper) perhaps even complete Jesus, who up until their success is a head without a Body. The organized bodies of Christianity (denominations, seminaries, inter-church agencies, most para-church groups, and most especially the Roman Catholic Church), so dominion theory goes, are controlled by the spirit of the Anti-Christ and thus will be among the first to be vanquished by the new order.” [4]

In John 18 when asked which Jesus they wanted the people cried: “No, not him! (the Messiah) Give us Barabbas!”

There is a false teaching in the church today about Christians taking the 7 mountains. One of them is the political mountain.

We all agree that the society to be transformed is not just one big conglomerate, but a unified whole that is made up of several vital pieces,
each one of which must take its own path toward transformation.
These segments of society should be seen as apostolic spheres.”

–C. Peter Wagner, The Church in the Workplace, (Regal, 2006), p. 112 [emphasis added]. [5]

They believe that by taking over the political institutions of the world that we can bring about righteous government. This is a false teaching, because only in the Kingdom of God do we have righteous government. The governments of this world are fallen.

In a chapter entitled “Apostles in the Workplace,” Wagner details the “strategy for war” for marketplace transformation, and puts out a plea for leaders to “standardize our terminology” for the “7 spheres” or “7 mountains” or “7 gates” of society that must be transformed. Wagner suggests “using a list that can be traced back to Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, and Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade.” (p. 112)

As the story goes, Cunningham and Bright each had a spiritual experience in which the vision was imparted to them by God of “seven chief categories of society” where the church needed to “concentrate” to “turn the nations back to God.” Wagner quotes a portion of Loren Cunningham’s book Making Jesus Lord (YWAM, 1988, p. 134), where he recounts this experience. Cunningham wrote:

“Sometimes God does something dramatic to get our attention. That’s what happened to me in 1975. My family and I were enjoying the peace and quiet of a borrowed cabin in the Colorado Rockies. I was stretched out on a lounge chair in the midday warmth, praying and thinking. I was considering how we Christians – not just the mission I was part of, but all of us – could turn the world around for Jesus.

“A list came to my mind:
categories of society which I believed we should focus on in order to turn nations around to God. I wrote them down, and stuck the paper in my pocket.

“The next day, I met with a dear brother, the leader of Campus Crusade For Christ, Dr. Bill Bright. He shared with me something God had given him – several areas to concentrate on to turn the nations back to God! They were the same areas, with different wording here and there, that were written on the page in my pocket. I took it out and showed Bill and we shook our heads in amazement.

“Here’s a list (refined and clarified a bit over the years) that God gave me that sunny day in Colorado:

1. The home
2. The church
3. Schools
4. Government and politics
5. The media
6. Arts, entertainment, and sports7. Commerce, science, and technology

These seven spheres of influence will help us shape societies for Christ.” [emphasis added]” [6]

The theocratic right seeks to establish dominion, or control over society in the name of God. The late D. James Kennedy, former pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, called on his followers to exercise “godly dominion … over every aspect … of human society.” At a “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference in February, 2005, Kennedy said:

“Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”

Twenty-five years ago, dominionists targeted the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could advance their agenda. At the same time, a small group of Republican strategists targeted fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches to expand the base of the Republican Party. This web site is not about traditional Republicans or conservative Christians. It is about the manipulation of people of a certain faith for political power. It is about the rise of dominionists in the U.S. federal government.

Today’s hard right seeks total dominion. It’s packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself.” [7]

Jesus and Barabbas are direct opposites

Unlike Jesus Barabbas, Jesus Christ refused to use raw political power to destroy existing institutions. He told Pilate his kingdom is not of this world. His mission was to save his people from their sins, from their guilt, from death, from the dominion of Satan, and from hell. Jesus came to liberate his people from slavery to sin, not from slavery to human institutions. In Matthew 1:21 we read, “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” And why can Jesus Christ alone save sinners? He can do so because he was not just a man, but he is also truly God. He was perfect man and perfect God–God incarnate.” [8]

The Crowd Responds to Jesus

But the Jerusalem crowd that gathered that day before the Sabbath did not want a humble Jesus. They wanted a Jesus who would use raw power to give them political salvation. We see this problem today even among evangelicals who think that they should get a piece of the pie also. They engage in tremendous political action, but such activities will not bring salvation.” [9]

In this we clearly see the spirit of antichrist manifested.

And the people cried to Pilate “give us Barabbas”!

This crowd had a clear choice. They could choose salvation by self-interest, violence, and exercise of power, or salvation by faith. They could choose Jesus Barabbas or Jesus Christ, and we are told they all chose Jesus Barabbas. Now, this is always the truth. I am using Barabbas as a metaphor for any choice other than Jesus Christ. Even today the vast majority of people choose Jesus Barabbas, meaning they choose salvation by any other means than by faith in Jesus Christ. They want salvation by exercise of power.

Therefore, such people would say, “We believe in Jesus Barabbas. We affirm materialism, this world and the kingdom of this age. We affirm this life only, and so we want salvation and power now.” These people chose Barabbas. They spared him. And they went and knocked at his cell and told him, “You are saved at the expense of this Jesus called Christ.” [10]

  1. The Clear Choice: Jesus or Barabbas” By P. G. Mathew, M.A., M.Div., Th.M.

  2. Ibid

  3. Ibid



  6. Ibid


  8. The Clear Choice: Jesus or Barabbas” By P. G. Mathew, M.A., M.Div., Th.M.

  9. Ibid

  10. Ibid


Filed under Barabbas ', Bible Study

2 responses to “Give us Barabbas!

  1. Pingback: Jesus, The Heavenly Man | Truthspeaker's Weblog

  2. Pingback: mob rule « cookiecrumbstoliveby

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