Focus: In the final analysis
Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV) Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.
The ultimate consideration of honesty, is to know for sure where you stand in terms of your salvation. Your commitment to a deep and passionate conviction of where you stand with Christ will help you find strength to stand in terms of your own trials and in terms of your ability to finish this life without denying the faith you now embrace.
In all four of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the name ‘Pilate’ comes up in the stories that were written about the trial that took place shortly before the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate was the Roman magistrate who had the power to set Jesus free—or sentence Him.
When Jesus was brought before Pilate for questioning, Pilate carefully asked Jesus some leading questions. Jesus gave careful answers that would require Pilate to make his own conclusion as to who Jesus really was.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Pilate physically washed his hands as a way of showing that he was not taking responsibility for the execution of Jesus. Having done that, he reluctantly sent Jesus to His death…even though he never sentenced Him.
In the Gospel of Mark, Pilate indicated his reluctance to execute Jesus due to the fact that he was not convinced that Jesus was guilty of plotting against the Roman Empire.
In the Gospel of Luke, Pilate and Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee, both declare that Jesus is not guilty of treason.
In the Gospel of John, Pilate stated, “I find no guilt in Him.”
It’s clear that Pilate didn’t want the responsibility of condemning Jesus—and technically he didn’t—yet, he handed Him over to be crucified, so technically, where did Pilate stand? In attempting to be a diplomat—Pilate showed weakness by not being more committed to his own convictions.
How often have you been in the company of other people who you wanted to be accepted by, when remarks were made that you didn’t agree with—yet you made no attempt to say so?
Throughout your life, you will find yourself in situations like this from time to time. As you stand in silence, it’s possible that no one knows or cares what you think or how you feel about a matter that pertains to Godliness…and perhaps Christ. If you say so—or don’t say so—nothing will necessarily be affected in the lives of anyone present…except your own. As you stand in silence, your honesty is in question…if only within you.
True honesty is penetrating. It doesn’t always agree with the way things may appear. Honesty is a matter of the heart. It is an inner knowing, but also an outer willingness to bear witness of the truth.
In John 18:37 (NKJV), when Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king, Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” In verse 38, Pilate goes on to ask the famous question, “What is truth?”
At this time, you may want to consider for yourself the same question, “What is truth?”
Is truth more than not lying? Is truth more than believing in your heart? Is truth having the courage to say so, when you could choose not to say so? Is truth living what you believe? Is truth loving what you believe to the point of dying for it?
What is truth?
In the final analysis of Pilate’s questioning, he neither set Jesus free—nor sentenced Him…but was Pilate honest? When we believe in something, shouldn’t our commitment to our belief be strong enough to say so?
Declaration: I will remember the challenge of these words at times when I might be tempted to stand in silence. I choose to press toward the kind of faith that is courageous. I will find new strength by saying so, when I could choose to not say so. I will be honest.
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