This is Pastor Tim’s newspaper article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Nov 9, 2020
Full disclosure, I am writing this article last Tuesday morning, so I am writing with no knowledge of anything that happened on Election Day. I am about to go down to the Union Hall to vote.
The reason I want to share this article with you today is I wanted to reflect on what my devotion was from this morning. Every year for the past 20+ years, I have read through the whole Bible each year. Therefore, I have a Bible that is well worn. I have had to duct tape the cover back on and it has a lot of miles on it. It has been with me through the high times and low times of my life. That Bible is like a dear friend to me.
The Bible I read is ordered in chronological order with all similar passages grouped together. So when I read about Jesus feeding the 5,000, I read the same passages from all four Gospels on the same day. It is much easier to take in the passage I am reading when reading all similar passages grouped together.
My passage this morning was Jesus’ trial before Pilate. This is the lone example we have in the entire Gospel story where Jesus speaks to a politician. The religious leaders brought Jesus to be tried in a Roman court presided over by Pontius Pilate.
Pilate is portrayed as being pressured by the crowd to crucify Jesus. But what I want to review with you today is that Jesus spoke very little to Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus questions and Jesus either refused to answer or He gave very short answers. Pilate was confused by this and didn’t understand why Jesus wouldn’t speak in His own defense.
Through the years, I have heard a lot of interpretations of why Jesus spoke so little to Pilate when Pilate is honestly portrayed as trying to help Jesus but ends up being too weak to do the right thing. In Pilate’s defense, Jesus didn’t give him much to work with. The Gospels don’t give much explanation of Jesus’ silence other than fulfillment of scripture. That is a valid interpretation, but my next question is why does scripture say that is what would happen? There has to be a reason why the Son of God would speak to a woman at the well, a sick man who hadn’t walked in 38 years and even a man who was 4 days dead but wouldn’t speak to someone desperately trying to find a reason to release Him.
Is this a lesson on who God values? The people who approached Jesus in desperation were willing to be real and bare their souls in hope that Jesus would help them. They had nothing but shame and pain to offer and they came to Jesus in their most desperate state. On the other hand, Pilate came to Jesus from a place of power and Jesus had barely a word to say to him.
We have just survived months of bravado and accusations. I know that is the system we live in and this is how we choose our leaders – through elections. I encourage you, no matter what you know now that I did not know last Tuesday when I wrote this article, to make sure you are prioritizing the right people. We should pay attention to the people who are willing to come into our lives and be real. That is what Jesus valued, which is why He spoke so freely with sinners but was silent before Pilate. Jesus valued Pilate as a child of God, but Jesus put no stock in the real or perceived power that Pilate commanded. Jesus valued the people who were willing to be real and was not interested in power assigned by the world.
As we sort out the aftermath of the election, I ask you, as one real person to another, let’s try to get back to being real people. We are more than our political leanings; we are all people. No matter which dot you colored in on your ballet, Jesus has proven He wants a relationship with the real you. That is a grace we should be willing to show each other.