Have you ever kept silent because what you know to be true isn’t politically correct? Have you ever been out to dinner with friends and something controversial comes up like homosexuality, transgenderism, or abortion? Have you noticed how much influence TV has on what people believe?
As I was reading in the book of John this morning, I was struck by the fact that Pilot refused to do what he knew was right (to release Jesus). It was more important to him to please the crowd who cried, “Crucify Him!”. And so he bent to the pressure.
“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”
13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” John 19:1-16 NIV (emphasis mine)
How difficult it can be to do what is right when the pressure of the crowd demands we do otherwise. We can be tough on Pilot for giving in to the crowd, but going against the tide isn’t easy especially when there is a lot at stake.
I believe it is only going to get worse. Our culture is changing faster than we ever dreamed possible. Who will stand up for truth? Who will say, “No! This is not right!”?
Research done by the Cato Institute reported that self-censorship is on the rise in the United States, with 62% of Americans saying the political climate today keeps them from expressing their beliefs. And “77% of conservatives … feel compelled to keep their beliefs to themselves.”*
If we can’t openly speak the truth of God’s Word, truth will be silenced and deception will reign.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV
How much easier that will be if truth is silenced. God’s Word is the source of truth.
Do you want to know more about Jesus? See my page Who Is Jesus?
*From the book Foreshadows, by Steve Miller
Photo by Valiant Made on Unsplash