Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In Matthew 27:11-14, Pontius Pilate was amazed at Jesus' actions. We might think that the governor had pretty much seen it all. So what did Jesus do that was so amazing to Pilate? Jesus had been accused before Pilate, and it looks very much as if his accusers were present, throwing more charges at him. Jesus chose not to answer the charges.
To Pilate's question whether Jesus was king of the Jews, Jesus' affirmation was clear. Pilate had said so, and he had said spoken correctly. In this Jesus claimed a higher and more historically-based rank than Pilate could ever claim. It is as if Pilate were a military officer meeting someone else in civilian clothes and asking, "Am I speaking to a superior officer?" only to receive an answer that he is a four star general.
This put Pilate in a very uncomfortable position, because he, a Roman, was standing between someone who affirmed he was king of the Jews and a crowd of Jews who were making accusations. Pilate's mission, from Caesar, was to keep peace in the province. This didn't look like a good situation.
If Jesus would answer the charges lodged against him, Pilate would have a chance of coming up with a justification for his actions, whether he decided to keep Jesus in custody, release him, or have him executed. But without any response there was very little that Pilate could do. What's more, virtually anybody who is accused will answer the charges in some way. Jesus didn't even do this.
Some of the charges against Jesus were true, at least to a limited extent. Some were false. That's the case with charges people today lodge against Jesus. They may be true, at least partly. For instance, imagine this conversation. "Jesus, you are saying that nobody has eternal life except through you." "Yes, that's correct." "But that means the other ways we want to find eternal life aren't going to work, what will you say about that?" "You are correct, without me, you don't have eternal life." "Doesn't that imply you think you are able to do whatever you want, like you are the boss of everyone?" "That is correct. It is what I am." While some of our modern questioners would walk uway unhappy, grumbling about anyone who is arrogant enough to think he can decide between their life and death, it would leave others, who might well be convinced by the fact that Jesus always seems to tell the truth, ready to redouble their efforts tofollow Jesus.
Jesus had already shown himself to the people who were hurling insults at him. He had no more need to defend himself. He would allow his word to be adequate, then to be demonstrated as authoritative by his ability to die and rise from the dead again. There was no need to answer further.
Jesus has left us with testimony about who he is and what he is able to do. It's plenty of testimony. It's up to us to believe or disbelieve, but he has said what he is saying and given us a demonstration that his word is reliable.
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