Silence and the Gospel: Jesus’ Silence of Victory
June 27th, 2018 | Matthew 26:57-64
Eighteen years ago, archaeologists uncovered the site of one of the most famous events in the New Testament—the trial of Jesus. They were preparing to expand the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem by getting rid of an abandoned building next door. But when they started digging, they found the remains of Herod the Great’s palace, where at least one of the trials preceding Christ’s crucifixion occurred.
During His trial before the Sanhedrin in today’s reading, Jesus remained silent. The seventy members of the Sanhedrin (a kind of religious high court) included chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law, presided over by the high priest, Caiaphas. They had already decided Jesus was guilty and should be put to death, so this was a kangaroo court. All they needed was enough false evidence to make a decent show of it (vv. 59-60). Despite some confusion, two witnesses testified that He had said He could destroy and rebuild the temple in three days. They may have had in mind the words of Christ in John 2:18–22, in which He used the temple as a metaphor for His body and His future resurrection.
Caiaphas challenged Jesus to defend Himself, but He didn’t respond (v. 63). He knew the witnesses were coerced. He knew the verdict was rigged. He knew what would happen next. And most of all, He knew this was God’s perfect plan. To remain silent was thus an act of obedience and submission to the Father’s will.
When Caiaphas challenged Jesus a second time, he used formal, serious language that would have been extremely rude to ignore. So Jesus answered, but still not to defend Himself. Instead, He affirmed that He was indeed the Messiah and in fact the very Son of God (v. 64).
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Jesus had demonstrated His ability to best any antagonist or debating challenge. But true victory lay elsewhere. For us, too, winning debates and defending ourselves isn’t always the point. Along these lines, it’s worth considering Christ’s example in today’s reading. Where in your life might silence show godly obedience and submission?
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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