He Didn’t Respond
Mark 15:1 ¶ As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Mark 15:2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.”
Mark 15:3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things.
Mark 15:4 Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.”
Mark 15:5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
The chief priests were singularly focused — they were going to get rid of Jesus, no matter what! The result was a series of behaviors and actions that were totally unbecoming the priesthood. In the third verse we find that they accused him of many things. They were trying to convince Pilate to have this man put to death and as a result they bent the truth in an effort to manipulate the situation. Jesus could have defended himself against all that was being said against him because much of it made no sense and yet, he chose not to respond.
There are times in life when silence is the best response to a situation. Jesus knew the whole picture — he understood what it was that the Father wanted to accomplish through him. Jesus could have defended himself in the moment because he was being falsely accused, but this would have not served the Father’s purposes in the long run. Therefore, Jesus was simply silent and didn’t respond and sometimes this is the best for us as well. Our natural human instinct is to become defensive, and yet, there will be times when this will not help a particular situation.
The chief priests probably wanted Jesus to defend himself, but what would he have said? His defense would actually have made them look worse and this leads us to another point. We must be careful when we jump to conclusions regarding others’ silence. There are times when those in leadership, or in particular relationships must remain silent. Again, they see the big picture and while they could defend themselves, it may be counter-productive to the entire situation. The problem becomes people jumping to conclusions regarding someone’s guilt because of their silence. Was Jesus guilty of all the crimes for which they were accusing him? No — and yet he didn’t respond.
Asking for God’s discerning wisdom in difficult situations is important. We must allow him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead us into knowing how to respond, recognizing that sometimes silence will be the best answer.
Lord, may I seek you and your wisdom daily. Amen.