The Robbers Crucified Beside Jesus

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Puritan Board Sophomore
Matthew 27:44
And the robbers also who had been crucified with Him were casting the same insult at Him.

Mark 15:32
"Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" And those who were crucified with Him were casting the same insult at Him.

Luke 23:39
And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!"
40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41 "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."
42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"

Matthew and Mark say that both robbers were insulting Jesus, while Luke's account seems to say that only one of the robbers insulted Jesus.

I'm not sure how others would handle this (hence this thread). However, I have a thought that at least makes sense to me.

One of the main purposes of Luke's account is to get the point across that God's grace is sufficient to save inspite of all we have done. At even our last moments, when good works are not do-able, God's grace can save completely and mightily from the worst of sins.

Wouldn't this point be even more amplified if the one being saved was insulting Christ even up to the very point of being regenerated? I believe that as he was coming to grips with his oncoming death, God showed the robber that he shouldn't be insulting Christ by telling Him to save them from physical death, but that the robber SHOULD be asking Jesus to save him from eternal death.

Therefore, both accounts happened.

Let me know what you think.


Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
There are a few places in the gospels beside this one (e.g. the Gadarene demoniac, Blind Bartimaeus) where either one or more people are involved, as the account goes in each. We can note that when one place references one person, that does not ordinarily exclude the possibilbity that there are more persons involved unless they are explicitly excluded. When that account is supplemented, as in this case of the robbers crucified with Christ, the accounts that add that both men hurled insults at Christ give us the most complete picture of that little detail (like multiple witnesses in a courtroom).

Certainly it adds depth to our understanding of the mercy of God to realize that, while Luke records a penitent thief, that same thief according to Matthew and Mark was first abusing the Lord along with his fellow malefactor. Someone who was there, someone Luke interviewed for his gospel record, had noted this incident and recounted it.


Puritan Board Sophomore
"The Middle Man"
My fate was sealed, 'all's lost', said I,
my heart was black as pitch,
as I perchance to lift my head,
I saw the far man twitch.

A thief be he, his life condemned,
my comrade in the dark,
and thus we hung, beneath the sky,
all now grim, all now dark.

To the middle now we cast our hate,
our eyes thus fixed on Him,
the soldiers truly earned their keep,
His body! Oh, so grim.

The venom spewed from our hearts black,
sly tongues, we pricked the mark,
yet, the middle Man just hung there, red,
His blood amidst our bark.

As the far man hurled his hate,
to the middle I did seek,
His outward form was bruised and beat,
yet in my heart, He now did speak.

My soul awake! Tis beuty now!
I spoke...'Remember me',
from outstretched arms, I heard Him cry,
"Today, you shall be with Me..."
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