Mark 14:61 AV
But he held his peace,
and answered nothing.
But he held his peace, and answered nothing … Knowing it would be to no purpose, and signifying hereby, that the things alleged against him were unworthy of an answer.
▪︎ There is a silence which is often more eloquent than speech,
▪︎ There is a silence which means more than any words, and speaks ten times more powerfully to the heart.
• Such a silence we may, for example experience, when the heart is too full for utterance, and the organs of speech are choked by the overwhelming tide of emotion.
• Such a silence may come over us, the moment we really start to see the greatness and majesty of our Lord. We might become so shaken, and quivering with feeling, that the tongue can give no voice to what the heart feels.
• Such a silence is of all human rhetoric the most potent.
• Such, also, is the silence of a wise man challenged to speak by those whom he feels unworthy of his words.
The man who can stand and listen to the language of ignorance, venomous bigotry, and personal insult, addressed to him in an offensive spirit, and offers no reply, exerts a far greater power upon the minds of his assailants, than he could by words.
His silence reflects a moral majesty, before which the heart of his assailants will scarcely fail to cower. Such was the silence which Christ now maintained in this hall.
A person’s speech has an enormous influence for good or bad and is a sure guide to character.
The impact of speech
It has the power of life and death
Proverbs 18:21; James 3:1-12; See also Proverbs 15:2,4
It can bring ruin or joy to the speaker
Proverbs 12:13-14; See also Psalms 140:9; Proverbs 10:14; 13:3; 14:3; 18:6-7,20; 21:23; Ecclesiastes 10:12-14
It can destroy others
Proverbs 11:9; See also Job 19:2; Psalms 55:20-21; 57:4; 64:3-4; 140:3; Proverbs 11:11; 12:6,18; 16:27
It can bring life to others
Proverbs 10:11; See also Proverbs 10:20-21,31-32; 16:21,23-24; 25:12; Isaiah 50:4; Ephesians 4:29
The timing of speech
There is an appropriate time for speaking
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; See also Proverbs 15:23,28; 25:11-12
There is an appropriate time for silence
Proverbs 11:12-13; See also 1 Samuel 10:27; Proverbs 10:19, 17:27-28, 21:23, 26:4; Ecclesiastes 5:2-3; Amos 5:13; Habakkuk 2:20; Zephaniah 1:7; James 1:19
Spoken witness produces faith
Romans 10:17; See also Isaiah 50:4; Acts 2:40-41; 28:23-24; 1 Peter 3:15
Jesus Christ was silent before his accusers
1 Peter 2:22-23; See also Matthew 26:63; Mark 14:61; Matthew 27:14; Mark 15:5; Luke 23:9; John 19:8-9
Speech is an expression of a person’s character
Matthew 12:34-37; See also Psalms 5:9; 15:1-5; Matthew 15:10-20; Mark 7:14-23; Luke 6:45; James 1:26; Revelation 14:5
Was the Lord standing here speechless?
No, we humans can sometimes be speechless.
One of the causes may be that we have nothing to answer.
Especially when God would examine us.
We must then confess that we have nothing to answer to all His questions.
We have transgressed His laws and despised His Gospel.
What an awesome moment when God examines us!
We cannot but remain silent in shame.
We must stand there in silence.
Likewise Aaron once stood with silent lips by the dead bodies of Nadab and Abihu.
It was their fault.
They had brought strange fire to the altar.
Lightning struck them. And Aaron had nothing to say.
But Jesus did have something to say.
Jesus could have exposed the false witnesses one by one.
Jesus could have revealed Caiaphas in his hypocritical concern for the glory of God.
But He didn’t.
He didn’t do that out of love.
In His silence was an answer of forgiveness, grace, and peace.
Because He was silent, the full grace has been poured out.
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