Tuesday, July 17: But Jesus remained silent
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 26:62-68
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
"You have said so," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?"
"He is worthy of death," they answered.
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, "Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?"
Being misunderstood, misrepresented, or treated as "less than" is so frustrating and even offensive that we often get defensive and impatient when it happens to us. Yet when Caiaphas asks Jesus to defend himself, Jesus at first remains silent. In a trial that seems so obviously one-sided and full of lies, he is silent.
Why do you think Jesus refused to speak, and what can we learn from his silent approach? Dear Lord, send your Spirit to teach us to be more like you. May your Spirit live in us and help us understand how you move and work in the world, and may we respond in a way that the world wonders, "Who is this Jesus?"