What Crimes Was Jesus Accused Of?

What happened in Jesus's trial before Pilate? Was he accused of sorcery? We look into the crimes He was accused of in the Bible and the role of Caiaphas.

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published February 28, 2022.

Even as a child, Jesus was seen as an enemy of the state, and as he got older, he continued to speak against the King and the Roman gods. When Judas betrayed Jesus, his reputation came to a head, and he was accused of several crimes—sorcery among them. The two primary accusations in the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus were blasphemy and treason.


Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the Jewish high priest Caiaphas, the president of the Sanhedrin. The act of blasphemy involves doing or saying something offensive to God. By claiming to be the real Son of God, Jesus was illegitimating the Jewish god.

In the book of Mark, we learn that when accused, Jesus responded by saying the following:

So you say. But I tell all of you: from this time on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right side of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of heaven! -Mark 14:61

Treason and Sedition

At several points in His life, Jesus spoke of the government's power as false power—that the only real power was that of God. Along with this, in order for the Romans to charge Him properly and punish Him by death, the charge of blasphemy was not enough—they needed to show political rebellion. Thus, Jesus was accused of treason. Some believed Jesus was a nationalist Zealot Jew, about to lead a violent uprising.

When asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus responded, “So you say.” He did not try to defend himself in any way.


Some of the locals believed that Jesus was a sorcerer, which was added to the case against Him.

Jesus believed in the power of the Lord rather than false idols and corrupt government, and He stood strongly for this. He also knew that everything happening was part of God's plan. These two factors allowed Him to accept what was happening with grace and faith.