And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:1-5)
Jesus has little to say when he’s questioned by Pilate and accused of many things by the chief priests. He really doesn’t even answer Pilate’s question. He simply acknowledges being called the King of the Jews. After that, not a word.
Jesus is only ever called “the King of the Jews” when he was a small child, when the magi brought their gifts and worshiped him. Jesus never went around calling himself a king or acting like a king. He still doesn’t, even when asked by Pilate. The priests threw everything they had at him and he had nothing to say.
I guess that’s one way to stay out of trouble. Keep your mouth shut. At least that’s the advice I’ve heard lately. If the officer asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” you answer, “No.” Or, “Do you know how fast you were going?” Again, reply, “No.” Want to quiet down a noisy room? Just ask, “Who did this?”
Accuse me of something and I get defensive. I want to tell my side of the story. I want you to understand why I said or did something. Especially when confronted with “You always…” or “You never…”
Such moments bring back memories of parental lectures and the question, “What do you have to say for yourself?” Sometimes I didn’t have anything to say. Sometime I couldn’t say anything because I was too guilty, too ashamed or too afraid. Or all three.
Jesus never did spend a lot of time proving who he was. He didn’t have to. Moses and the prophets, as well as his miracles, spoke volumes. He wasn’t there to defend himself, but to take our guilt, our shame and our fear to the cross.
Jesus make anyone believe anything. He wants you to put the pieces together and believe that he is the Lord and your Savior. He wants us to be just as quiet and just as still, “And know that I am God.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus’ silence as he went to the cross for me. Amen.