Daily Word

Silent before false accusations | Matt 27:11-14

11 Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him. Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.

Matthew 27:11-14 (NLT) 中文

Change of venue

The Jewish leaders have decided to kill Jesus and use Pilate, the Roman governor to do it. Judas Iscariot, who earlier betrayed Jesus to these leaders, has expressed remorse but not repentance to salvation. He has committed suicide. Now Jesus is in front of Pilate.

King to king

The Bible proclaims Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14). We see here Pilate, the Roman ruler of the area, asks if Jesus is king of the Jews. I think Pilate must have been looking at Jesus and wondering, “If you are a king, why are you in this situation”? John’s gospel records he even asks Jesus, “Why do your own leaders bring you here to be judged and killed?” Jesus responds as He often does, indirectly, without claiming fame or title. Rather, He lets the facts speak for themselves so that “those with ears to hear” can hear and understand (Matthew 11:15).

Silent before false accusations

But when the Jewish leaders accuse Him (falsely), Jesus remains silent, “…Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7). Of course this shocked Pilate. Why did Jesus remain silent? As we just noted, it was prophesied. At the same time, He knew (and all those in attendance knew) the accusations were false. A tower of lies will eventually fall. But this one lasted long enough to get Jesus crucified. 

Benefit of perspectives

We have four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. John’s gospel gives us more detail about the conversation between here Pilate and Jesus (John 18:33-40). There was more dialogue between them than what Matthew, Mark and Luke record. That’s one of the beauties of having 4 accounts.

And Luke’s gospel informs us that there was yet another Roman government trial (Luke 23:7-12) after this one with Pilate. It was with Herod, who also asked Jesus questions while the Jewish religious authorities assailed Jesus with accusations. One interesting outcome Luke notes is these two rulers, formerly at odds, became friends.


  • Are you one who, “has ears to hear” what Jesus taught? As a follower of Christ, we benefit from listening to what Christ, the Lord of creation tells us. Or, as our Good Shepherd, leads us to do. Are we doing it?
  • When we face false accusations are we able to remain silent and trust the Lord to be our defender and the One who has laid the path before us? No matter the outcome, the trials, the suffering, we will, “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 3:14) 
Angry man in crowd pointing. Image from planetizen.com *

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