October 15

Text: Matthew 27:11, 12

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."  And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer.  (NASB)

“Would you say something?  I am tired of you ignoring me!  Stop acting like you have nothing to say to me!”  Have you been there?  Do you know the power of being silent?

Notice something about this encounter with (a) Jesus and Pilate and (b) Jesus and the Jewish leadership.  One striking contrast is obvious.  Jesus spoke to Pilate.  Jesus said nothing to the Jewish leadership.  He answered Pilate’s inquiry.  He ignored the Jewish leadership’s accusations.

Pilate had no reason to know Jewish religious perspectives.  Only when Jewish views were relevant to the Roman role in Palestine would he be interested.  His gentile, idolatrous views of the origin of this world, the nature of the gods, the involvement of the gods in human affairs, the purposes of the gods expressed in world events, etc. would be quite different to Jewish concepts.  He had no reason to understand God’s redemptive plans through Jesus.  When he asked if Jesus was the Jewish king, he was concerned about something entirely different than was Jesus when Jesus said that he was.

Jesus answered Pilate because Pilate had no reason to understand the situation.  Pilate’s ignorance was based on lack of exposure.

However, the Jewish leadership had every reason to grasp Jesus’ identity.  They knew his power—perhaps even witnessed some of his miracles.  They knew his teachings—perhaps even heard Jesus deliver some of those teachings.  No matter what witnesses said, or what they saw, or what they heard, they chose to reject and attack.  Jesus was a problem to be eliminated, not someone from God to be understood.  Their ignorance was beyond excusing.  Their ignorance was based on choice.  For them, there was nothing left for Jesus to say or do.

Years ago I wondered how Jesus could be quiet in the face of injustice.  We Americans react to injustice with anger!  Then one day 1 Peter 2:23 spoke eloquently!  Jesus “kept intrusting himself to Him (God) who judges righteously.”  When a person belonging to God endures enormous injustice, the person has a choice. The person can focus on the injustice or focus on being who God wants him to be—he cannot do both. Jesus gave God the injustice, and he focused on being who God wanted him to be.

Suggestion for reflection:  How do you focus on being the person God wants you to be?  (Read Romans 14:13-23.)

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