Defending Your Reputation
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7 (NIV 1984)
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge–to the great amazement of the governor. Matthew 27:12-14
The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:3-5
We have recently seen how accusations – whether verifiable or not, accurate or not – have become accepted as true. The seeming emotional state of the accuser was proof of the accusations, rather than their veracity or falsehood. The resulting damage done to both the accused and the process of law are hard to measure.
Jesus too was accused at His trials. Before the Sanhedrin it says, “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they
could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.” Matthew 26:59-60 (NIV 1984)
Before the governor He acknowledged that He was the King of the Jews as accused (Matthew 27:11). But, the other accusations against Him made by the Jewish leaders of inciting rebellion or insurrection against Caesar, He declined to answer – to the amazement of His accusers.
Jesus entrusted His fate to His heavenly Father. Knowing that His destiny was to die for His people, He chose not to defend Himself or correct the accusations. Rather, He asked His Father to forgive them for they did not know what they were doing.
How important is your public reputation? Can God be trusted to defend you and your reputation should the need arise? In what circumstances should we offer a rebuttal or a defense? Wisdom is needed for sure!