When Silence Is The Best Answer
Matthew 27:11 “Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
(27:12) When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.
(27:13) Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”
(27:14) But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge –to the great amazement of the governor.”
In solving conflicts, silence is not recommended. Both parties need to be understood and that only happens if they speak out and respond to accusations. Parties in a conflict whether a couple or otherwise, who give each other a silent treatment, will not get the conflict resolved until they break the silence. Silence can create a stalemate and hamper progress towards a solution. Therefore silence is not always golden. There are times when silence is the best answer.
Jesus responded to Governor Pilate’s question, but he did not respond to questions by religious leaders. Was Jesus respectful of government authorities and disdainful of religious leaders? Maybe not. When Jesus was taken to Herod another government leader, this time He didn’t respond. Therefore the silence wasn’t about government and religion.
Luke 23:8 “When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle.
(23:9) He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.
(23:10) The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.”
Religious leaders always followed Jesus during His ministry. They kept asking questions to trap Jesus. They sent people to listen to Jesus and report back on any point they could use to accuse Him. Religious leaders eventually connived with Judas to falsely accuse Jesus. Religious leaders were therefore aware of Jesus teaching and authority, but they rejected it and chose to falsely accuse Him. Jesus did not need to answer them. This is when silence became the best answer!
Pilate had very little interaction with Jesus. Pilate’s questions were genuine. Pilate from what he heard about Jesus, even from his wife (Matthew 27:19, she had a dream at night), had convinced him that Jesus is innocent. Jesus responded to Pilate, to answer his genuine questions that sought answers and also to affirm his faith in God. But when religious leaders followed with their questions, which weren’t genuine, silence from Jesus became the best answer.
Mark 6:17 “For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married.
(6:18) For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
(6:19) So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to,
(6:20) because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.”
Herod on the other hand had been preached to and warned of his sins by John the Baptist. Herod knew John was righteous and his message true. Herod’s response to God’s Word through John the Baptist, was to imprison him. Later on Herod yielded to his daughter and wife and had John the Baptist beheaded.
Herod knew God’s will but he refused to yield to it, and instead killed the messenger. If you don’t listen to God’s messenger, you have rejected, not the messenger but God who sent him/her. Therefore Jesus had already reached out to Herod through John the Baptist. When Herod asked questions of curiosity and seeking a miracle for the sake of it, Jesus whom he had rejected by rejecting John had nothing more to say to Herod. Silence became the best answer.
Herod and the religious leaders had heard from Jesus directly and indirectly. The responsibility of salvation had the ball in their court. They had prove beyond reasonable doubt that Jesus was right and they were wrong. The answers they pretended to seek wouldn’t add value to them. The answers they had were sufficient. They were now making fun of Jesus and using the moment to confirm their false accusations. This is when silence became the best answer!
2 Timothy 2:16-18 “(16) But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, (17) and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, (18) who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.”
2 Timothy 2:23 “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.”
Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”
Ephesians 5:4 “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
From these four passages, silence is best when the response you give will just contribute to idle talk, arguing or fuelling controversy. Silence is best when at the end our contribution will upset the faith of others. We need to jealously guard our faith and that of others. Some reactions even to genuine offence does more harm than good to our faith and that of others. In the era of social media when from the comfort of your privacy, you can respond to the many posts, we need the wisdom of silence. Response includes liking a post, attaching others to the post, forwarding the post to others, tagging others to the post and sharing the post. By such responses we take responsibility for whatever blessing or damage that the post does to individuals, families, organisations, the church, etc. In many of the controversial posts on social media, just like in age old gossip, silence is the best answer!
We should avoid engaging in what seems like a discussion or airing of grievances, yet it is an opportunity to slander individuals or families or even the church. Discussions of issues must be seeking answers and not just for the sake of it. We study scripture to learn, and not to demonstrate knowledge or just argue as many do. Avoid even good discussions whose objectives are unclear. At times we don’t even answer questions whose aim is to trap and trigger controversy. Silence is best when the problem under discussion hasn’t been presented to be addressed through the right channel. Silence is best when issues under discussion are allegations and the truth cannot be verified. Silence in many of the popular discussions, political, social and religious, remains the best answer.
Silence is best when the social media post is intended to attack, revenge or get even with the offender by shaming and exposing them. Revenge belongs to God. To use social media to revenge is to usurp God’s role of revenging all our offences. Silence is the best response to such posts and contributions.
Silence is the best answer only if the other party has beyond any reasonable doubt understood your position and response. Silence is the best answer if your response will worsen the situation and not improve it. Silence is best, if your response will fuel controversy. Silence is best in many of the popular social media discussions whose objectives are unclear but screwed. Silence is the best response if you have done all within your ability and now the matter is in God’s hands. Silence is the best answer if your response won’t make any difference since the direction and conclusion is already determined. Silence is the best answer if it is not a form of contempt and pride. This is when silence is the best answer.
May God grant us wisdom to know when and how to speak, respond and act, and also to know when to be silent. May this wisdom bring blessings and happiness in our lives, in Jesus name. Amen! (C)email@example.com (do not delete any part of this post, including this. TAKE NOTE WE HAVE A BLOG WITH MANY MORE POSTS… Just Google Baraton University Church and you will get our blog. You are free to share these posts but don’t edit the authorship or content… thank you and be blessed!)