At John 19:5 we see:

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

Elsewhere, we see Jesus referring to himself as Son of Man on numerous occasions.

My question is: Was Pontius Pilate a secret beneficiary of the teachings of Jesus so that he was able to quote the very words of Jesus in his pronouncement during the latter's trial? What do the teachings of Catholic Church say about such a prospect?

2 Answers 2


Here's what St. Thomas Aquinas commentates on Jn. 19:5:

  1. Thirdly, Christ's exhibition is further described through the words of Pilate, Here is the man! spoken in a sarcastic way, as if one so disgraced would dare to usurp a kingship. Look at the kind of person you are accusing of this! The words of the Psalm (22:6) apply to him: "I am a worm, and no man." And so, if you do hate your king, spare him now because you see him dishonored. "When disgrace increases, let your hatred decrease,"5 as Augustine says.

5. Tract. in Io., 116, ch. 2, col. 1942; cf. Catena Aurea, 19:1-5.


Pilate's proclamation Behold, the man, is a magnificent contrast between two polar opposite understandings.

John the baptist said this.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. John 1:29-30

While Pilate says this.

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! John 19:5

As Jesus said, who do people say I AM?

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