Matt 27:44 Robbers heap insults on Jesus

When Jesus is crucified this verse says the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. What about the one who said"remember me when you come into your kingdom," in Luke? The tradition is Jesus on the hill with a man on either side of him- were there more or did one thief change his mind? thank you Kathleen


I struggle sometime between using links to the scripture or cut and paste. I chose to cut and paste.

32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe! Even those who were crucified with him were reviling him. (Mk 15:32)

42 “He saved others; he is not able to save himself! He is the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusts in God; let him deliver him now if he wants to, because he said, ‘I am the Son of God’!” 44 And in the same way even the robbers who were crucified with him were reviling him. (Matt 27:42-44)

39 And one of the criminals who were hanged there reviled him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself—and us!” 40 But the other answered and* rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, because you are undergoing the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving ⌊what we deserve⌋ for what we have done. But this man has done nothing wrong!” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!” 43 And he said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23: 39-43)

I have listed the relevant verses that describe the crucifixion account. I think that it is apparent from these verses that the majority of those that were there were participating in the mocking and ridicule of Jesus. I am going to stick my neck and say that some had an agenda and some likely were caught up in the crowd fever.

I believe that the answer to your question is that in the Lukan account one of the two thieves came to repentance and recognized his need for a remedy beyond his power. The remedy that was clearly on display for the world to receive but only received by the few. As to whether there were more than the two thieves I will go with what is written.

I hope this helps a bit.


@plantaseed Two possible explanations for the difference between Matthew/Mark and Luke. I think it is important to remember that Luke was writing for a different audience and tended to emphasize how Christ came for all mankind. This emphasis would make him more likely to include this particular part of the story.

  1. The thief who repented did also revile Christ at first, but changes his mind during his time near Jesus
  2. The plural of thieves in Mat/Mark referred to only one of the thieves (this does occur elsewhere in Scripture)

First, it is quite possible that, initially, both thieves reviled Christ, but then one of them repented. After hearing Jesus’ words on the cross, and seeing His forgiving attitude, the one thief may have been driven to acknowledge that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. How many times have we made a statement about someone or something, but then retracted the statement only a short while later after receiving more information?

A second possible explanation for the minor differences in gospel accounts regarding the two thieves who were crucified next to Jesus involves the understanding of a figure of speech known as synecdoche.


Thank you for printing the scripture rather than linking- I was too lazy at the time to flip around to the other crucifixion accounts. I wasn’t pointing this so much bc I think the Bible is in error. I believe everything in the Bible. It was more for me to try to make sense of it. The idea that the other thief could repent and be welcomed into the kingdom at the point of death is a comforting thought for many who don’t know if they will see their loved ones in heaven. Your reply did help!


I didn’t take it that way. I have plenty of questions myself on the Bible. I have resigned to the fact that the Bible was written for us but not to us and as result understanding it today does offer some challenges. :grinning: