Jesus faced Pontius Pilate, a vapid and insecure Roman leader. The Son of God had been turned over to the authorities, brought there by the leaders of His own people.
The Jews feared this Man of mystery and miracles. His words were what bothered them most. He clothed His lessons in stories and riddles and figures of speech. And these phrases cut deep, like a scalpel.
Now, when He stood before a tribunal, accused of insurrection and rebellion, Jesus had nothing to say. His silence confounded Pilate. He saw Jesus as no threat to him or to Rome. Just a couple sentences of contrition from Him and Pilate could cut Him loose, after the customary flogging, of course. It was his way of letting the soldiers’ practice their craft and let off some steam.
Jesus stood mute. Pilate restated the case against the prisoner and flaunted his position — “I hold your life in my hands and you will not speak?”
At this point, the Savior felt the need to correct Pilate’s misperceptions. This ruler knew nothing of what was really going on. Actually, it was Jesus who was in total control.
“My Kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus declared.
Words, the Savior spoke them and Pilate became entangled. How could he argue with One who claimed to be from beyond?
Truth does this to those under the auspices of this world system, a cosmos coordinated by lies dictated by the master liar. Light, just a sliver of it, reveals hidden things, exposes deceptions, calls attention to what’s happening in the room.
The Strength of Quietness
Jesus gave Pilate a revelation, and this leader could have received it. His wife sent a warning; she dreamed of Christ. “An Innocent Man,” she called Him.
Pilate found himself stuck. He brought a bloodied Jesus before the mob, but it only made them shout for more. He desperately understood the Truth about this case. He knew the just decision that could be made. But he could not bring himself to do the right thing.
Instead, the noise of the crowd pushed him. Pilate sent Truth to the Cross, albeit with a sign that told everyone just who he thought Jesus was “The King of the Jews.”
Quietness and confidence was the strength Jesus displayed there. These things carried Him through to the death He had to die for all of us. His Kingdom is not of this world.Kingdom rules are different and they are rules that the Spirit can empower us to live by. World power can only do so much, and we would do well not to seek such power. Click To Tweet
Do we see things this way? Do we see them the way Jesus did in the midst of a horrifically unjust situation?
Did Jesus have a way of escape? Sure, He did. He is God the Son, almighty, eternal, everlasting. He could not use that way, however; not if He was going to make the way for our escape.
Kingdom rules are different and they are rules that the Spirit can empower us to live by. World power can only do so much, and we would do well not to seek such power.
Our way must be the quiet way, the Jesus way, the way of the Lamb led to slaughter. We need not say so much. We need not exalt our rights and privileges.
We can be still and know that He is God.
Letting the Spirit Lead
Peter had to learn this lesson. In Gethsemane, he was ready to fight and swung a sword and chopped off an ear. Jesus stopped him and told him to put away the weapon and then healed the injured one.
Later, in Acts, we read that Peter was in jail awaiting execution. Already dead was James, the brother of John, one of the sons of thunder. Herod had him beheaded, and Peter was next in line. On this night, he slept soundly, so soundly that he had to be awakened by the angel that came to deliver him.
Soon, Peter was free. The Lord made it happen.
Let us rest for we are of a different Kingdom. We are holy citizens of Heaven. The Spirit in us is greater than what is at work in this world.
Our quietness carries us far. May we talk only in the power of the language of Truth.
The loud shouts shall fall flat. Weapons shall drop to the ground.
The King of kings is enthroned above and we are seated with Him. The Day of the Lord shall come, and we shall rejoice and be glad in it.
For more about the Kingdom and the King, check out “Joseph, Jesus and the God who does as He Pleases,” a message by Thomas Schaller, Pastor of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore.