“Don’t you have an answer to what these men are testifying against you?…Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Pharisees to Jesus in Mark 14
I missed this the first hundred times I read this. Just flat out missed it but there it is – plain as day and now that I’ve seen it, I see it all over the place.
Jesus is on trial in the middle of the night and the Pharisees are just bringing false witness after false witness forward. The witnesses can’t keep their lies straight so that isn’t exactly how the Pharisees planned it but after every false witness, they turn to Jesus and ask him for a response, a rebuttal of some kind.
Jesus just sits there in silence.
Who knows how many hours this goes on but finally one of the priests loses his mind and asks Jesus the direct question – are you the Messiah.
This question – Jesus answers. I am.
Similar scene plays out in front of Pilate next. Witness after witness delivers their created and practiced lies about Jesus. As insults and accusations fly, Jesus sits there and says nothing. I’m sure some of it is exhaustion. Some of it is he knows what is coming, nothing to say at this point.
Then Pilate asks him a direct question. Asks him two, actually. Are you the king of the Jews? Don’t you know I have the power to kill you?
Now Jesus answers him. It is as you say. You only have the power my Father has given you.
So those that are playing games around him, he doesn’t answer. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t love them. Doesn’t mean he won’t die for them. He will. It means that while they play this deadly game with deadly consequences, he sits silently.
Then when he is asked directly a question, he answers. With no pretense or anger. Just truth.
What am I trying to say? I trying to point out that we don’t have the language to describe the expanse of God’s grace. That Jesus still seeks and waits on the lost, those who don’t even believe he is real. And just like on the day he died, he will quickly turn an enemy into a brother. So that’s why he answers when he is spoken to. It’s why he told us to seek and ask and knock.
And he’ll never just walk away.