Mark 15:5 (NLT) But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.
There is wisdom in silence. Our Lord Jesus, in the middle of unjust arrest and very phony trial, in the middle of much insults, false accusations, and horrible persecutions, spoke very little. He didn’t find it a need to justify Himself in front of an already prejudiced crowd. He knew truth didn’t matter to them; truth wouldn’t have changed their minds. Besides, He knew His mission; He knew He had to die. Extreme persecutions and excruciating torture may not have been necessary, but He welcomed them anyway.
Even while on the cross, people turned on Him, tempting Him, even challenging Him to perform a miracle to save Himself. Our Lord Jesus could have just easily spoken a word and immediately escaped death. But that could have caused the hostile crowd to have a sudden change of conviction and forcibly crowned Him as Messiah and king. That would have derailed the very mission He came to accomplish. He came to serve. He came to give His life as a ransom payment for our sins.
We don’t always have to speak up. It is not always necessary to defend ourselves. It is wise to speak up only when it matters, only when it makes a difference. It isn’t necessary for us to convince everyone. The pleasure of all is never our aim; we are not called to be liked by everyone. We have a mission to fulfill, a destiny to pursue, and there are those who disagree with us. They stand on our way; they try to oppose us, stop us, silence us, and even destroy us. It doesn’t matter; as long as we are on God’s side, we are on the right track. When our dear God is pleased, we’re pleased.
We are not advocating complete silence, passivity, and inaction. There is a time to speak, but there is also time to keep quiet. Our very task of declaring the Gospel requires speech. We need to lovingly and passionately persuade people with the Good News, but we also recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice when He impresses in our hearts enough is enough–when the time has come for silence to be the best option.
We speak with wisdom. When it’s beneficial, we speak. When it edifies others, we speak. When it gives God glory, we speak; otherwise, we say nothing. And silence can be the godliest thing we do.