Why Didn’t He Say Anything?

DT Tampa july 4

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am re-sharing this post I wrote a couple years ago, as we are currently studying about the Holy Spirit. 

Several years ago one of my superiors made a false accusation against me at church. I asked a couple of friends how I should refute what was said. One friend answered wisely, “Don’t defend yourself against the accusation. Doing so will only give the accusation merit.” My friend was right. Sadly, the leader who made the accusation left the Adventist Church shortly after. As I continued my ministry I realized everyone either forgot what was said or were never paying attention in the first place. Others shrugged it off, knowing it wasn’t true. It may sound cliche, but some things become cliche because they are true. Sometimes silence is golden.

Jesus promised us,

So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!  Luke 21:14-15 NLT

In training people to give Bible studies, and how to use the Bible to answer certain questions, I occasionally find someone who is frustrated because someone debated them, and they did not know how to answer. They trusted the Holy Spirit to give them words to say, but they were speechless. Did Jesus let them down? No. Remember, not even Jesus answered every question. Sometimes, like us, He had nothing to say.

But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.

“Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded.

But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise. Matthew 27:12-14 NLT

Could it be that Jesus knew their hearts were hardened, and that until the Holy Spirit had softened their hearts, it would do no good to say anything? When dealing with conflict, a pastor once told me, “You don’t have to swing at every pitch.” Baseball fans know what he meant. For everyone else, let’s use more cliches and just say, “Choose your battles well,” and “You don’t have to die on every hill.” Sometimes it’s okay to be silent, and give the Holy Spirit opportunity to work. Sure there are times to speak up, but if the Holy Spirit has not given us words to speak, it’s best to remain silent, lest we ruin everything with our own foolishness.

Let me leave you with a thought that a wise teacher shared with some parents, which applies to more than just parents and children.

Children may not always be listening to you, but they are always watching you!

More important than finding the right word is doing the right action. Maybe the real reason Jesus needed no words, to answer their question is because His life already answered them.

Glimpses of the Cross Day 11; Sometimes Silence is the Answer

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers.  But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!  Luke 21: 12-15 NLT 

Sometimes people get discouraged when they are trying to defend their faith, and the Holy Spirit does not give them the right words to say. What we have to remember is, our faith is something we share, not something we defend. In other words, sharing God’s love will do more good to win people to Jesus than just trying to prove we are right all the time. Also, just because we are not given words to say does not mean the Holy Spirit is not with us. The Holy Spirit was with Jesus but sometimes He remained silent.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle.  He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer.  Luke 23:8-9 NLT

Even though He was accused, Jesus was not in a position where He needed to defend Himself. If Herod’s questions had been more sincere I believe the Holy Spirit would have given Jesus something to say. The Holy Spirit is not going to give us words to say, if those words are just going to be “pearls cast before swine.” Jesus lived a life that did not need to be defended. Remember, sometimes when you defend yourself against accusations, all you are doing is giving merit to the accusations. If the accusation has no merit, sometimes silence is the best answer. It was for Jesus.

Mark 13; When Words Are Too Much

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Mark 13:11  But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 

Have you ever been at a loss for words when you had a chance to witness for Jesus or explain why you believe what you believe? A lot of Christians feel bad when that happens but they don’t necessarily need to feel bad. Maybe the Holy Spirit did not give them anything to say because nothing needed to be said. There were times that Jesus remained Silent on an issue. For example:

Mark 11:27     And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 

 11:28    And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 

 11:29    And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 

 11:30    The baptism of John, was [it] from heaven, or of men? answer me. 

 11:31    And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 

 11:32    But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all [men] counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 

 11:33    And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. 

See, Jesus did not answer them. Sometimes getting into an argument will do no good. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is not ready to “go there” with that person yet. Or sadly, the Holy Spirit may not even be working with them anymore. In Matthew 27:12 Jesus never answers Pilate the last time he addressed Him. A preacher once hinted that Pilate had grieved the Holy Spirit and that Jesus never heard a word that Pilate said! I don’t know about that, but it is worth thinking about. It takes a lot to grieve the Holy Spirit away, so let’s not think that of anybody, but still, don’t feel like you always have to have something to say. The Holy Spirit will give you something to say when it is needed, just like Jesus, and will help us to remain silent when words would be wasted or not appreciated yet, just like the Holy Spirit did for Jesus.