“But he kept silent and made no answer. . . .” Mark 14:61
Knowing when not to speak is the most important part of speaking. Jesus was a master debater. Yet He did not debate here in Pilates arena. Jesus who had time and again impaled the religious leaders with inescapable dilemmas, who had punctured His opponents with sharp questions for which there were no answers – had the skills to topple the flimsy lies the systems had created against Him, but He was silent.
Jesus was silent because of the character of the ones who questioned Him. It’s no wonder He held His peace before them. They represented the old decaying order of religious and political power. Three years prior to this event they had heard the gospel of the kingdom and knew it was true. They felt convicted of the inward condition of their hearts, but refused to change. And when one knows the truth and wears religion as a mask for its own destruction, Jesus has nothing more to say.
On that day Jesus stood before Pilate, all that was required was that he be as just as he knew how to be, that he’d have the courage to do the right thing. Pilate failed, not for the lack of theological insight, but because he lacked the courage to do his duty. Any time one places their career over conscience, Jesus has nothing more to say.
For Herod, Jesus was an object of curiosity. Herod had the love of excitement, mixed with a superstitious craving for the supernatural. He wanted Jesus to perform a miracle in order to amuse him. Whenever one treats Jesus as a spectacle to be viewed, without committing themselves, and they patronize Jesus with detached interest, then Jesus has nothing more to say.
We should never forget that there was never a man so powerfully silent. If half the time and energy that Christians have given to creating noisy verbose arguments and protests had been invested in quiet acts of service and love, then the kingdom of Christ would have been extended much farther. There’s nothing more to say, but plenty yet to do.
Are your words, motives and intentions silencing Jesus?