And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
The chief priests had brought a long list of accusations, perhaps borne from their ignorance of the ways God was working right in front of them. They brought false witnesses. They would probably say anything to make Jesus look bad, to undermine who He was and what He was doing. Jesus was a threat to them, and so they desired to silence Him once and for all.
Perhaps one of the greatest powers exhibited by a man is to keep silent in the face of such an attack. We are often quick to defend ourselves, to deny any complaint being brought against us. In fact, Pilate marveled at Jesus’ silence. He had probably rarely seen a man not refute the accusations brought against him. But Jesus bore with grace this verbal assault, the God within Him despising the lies yet loving the men who cast them at Him like stones.
Yes, even these men who hounded Jesus throughout His ministry, who had conspired against Him, who desired to destroy Him, who delivered Him up like a common criminal—even these men Jesus loved. Even these men Jesus died for. Even these men Jesus wanted to believe on Himself and trust in Him and experience the freedom of forgiveness. We might call them enemies, but to Him, they are simply lost sheep He longs to embrace into His fold.
Do we have that same love for people? Will we stand silently, bearing the untruths the world spits in our faces without desiring revenge or attacking others in return? Will we refuse to resort to the same kind of behavior? Will we desire that those who have hurt us the most come to know Christ as Savior? Will we be spent for those who hate us?
God does not always call us to stand silently. Of course we are to be witnesses for Him and share His truths with those around us. And there are times where it is right to defend ourselves. But sometimes perhaps there will be moments where silence is our answer. Perhaps there will be a time where patiently bearing an attack with grace will be the means of God working in a hardened heart. So let’s strive to always respond with love and kindness no matter how others may treat us.