October 16

Text: Matthew 27:13, 14

 Then Pilate *said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?"  And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.  (NASB)

Pilate in this routine hearing had no idea that his part would be discussed over 2000 years later.  To him it was just another Jewish religious squabble about personalities and petty Jewish jealousies.  While to him it had little substance, it had endless possibilities for unneeded headaches and misunderstandings.  Nothing suggested it would become a world movement or that it had eternal significance.  It was the stuff of a mundane argument based on a petty disagreement by insignificant people who could cause problems.  It certainly did not seem to be the stuff of a world movement lasting for centuries.

To Pilate it would seem that this was the kind of incident best forgotten and never discussed.  Let obstinate Jews kill an innocent Jew!  Get out of the situation!  Do not allow a “nothing” situation to explode!  He did not need unfavorable attention from his authorities in Rome.  That would not be good for future career moves!  Yet, instead of avoiding an explosion he participated in an explosion.

Have you been there, done that?  A situation arises.  It has no apparent opportunities.  It has many apparent liabilities.  You try to do what is right, but “what is right” does not work quickly to address the issue.  Thus you do what is necessary to evade responsibility and save yourself.  Years later you continue to say, “If only I had . . .”   What seemed insignificant became very significant.

It is easy to say, “If only I had known, that never would have happened!”  Or, “If the people only had acted as they should, I would not have acted as I did.”  Jesus was not acting like a falsely accused man!

Note Jesus told Pilate who he was, but he did not respond to the Jewish accusations—not even to Pilate.  Wonder if Pilate ever said to himself, “Jesus, why did you not speak up?”

Do as you should regardless of the temptation to avoid “the right thing.”  Opportunities are not always apparent.  Always do right because you respect God.  Do not let people blind you to doing right.

Suggestion for reflection: Excuses are cheap, but doing right can be expensive.  (Read Acts 9:10-20.)

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