Everyone has an opinion. Everyone wants his or her voice to be heard. Everyone has freedom of speech. But how we exercise this right to speak demonstrates the person within. The question becomes, do we have to speak every time something comes to our minds? Do we have to always speak to defend ourselves? Today Jesus shows us how to die to our right to speak.
“And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He didn’t answer. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Don’t You hear how much they are testifying against You?’ But He didn’t answer him on even one charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.” Matthew 27:12-13
It is hard to keep your mouth open and not get angry when justice is not being served in your favor. Yet, Christ held His tongue and thus was able to accomplish God’s righteousness because of it. Why was He able to keep His mouth shut? We saw yesterday in Dying to Justice that Jesus had full confidence in His Father to defend Him. Jesus did not have to say a word at that moment to speak His mind or His rights. Thus, He also fulfilled Isaiah’s prophesy:
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led ot the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7
The gospel of Matthew cautions us about the words we speak.
“I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37
James warns us to be slow to speak because it does not accomplish God’s righteousness.
“My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20
When Jesus held His tongue, He glorified God and God’s righteousness was accomplished. Will we be able to do the same today?