Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'”
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. Matthew 26:61-62
Jesus remained silent. He didn’t have to speak. He had truth on His side. He didn’t have to answer to anyone. Jesus still held the cards.
What was playing through His mind during all of this? Was He praying for his captors and rulers? Was He listing in His mind the number and types of punishment these people would receive eventually?
I had a professor in Bible School that would be speaking and all of a sudden, he’d stop, nod his head a few times and slowly look at the 30 students in his class, all the while nodding his head. Then he’d continue speaking. No one in class doubted for a moment what he was doing during that silence and looking around the classroom: he was praying. What could he say that would remain with the students? How’s that man in the back dealing with all the stress of family life? Where would these students be 10 years from now.
My guess is that He was praying for the people who were falsely accusing Him. How else explains the calm demeanor? It wasn’t a “bite your tongue” anger that we might experience if we really wanted to speak but choose not to.
Praying for people when they don’t know you’re praying for them always gives you the upper hand in any situation. That’s where the introverts have an advantage because we may not be inclined to speak anyhow. On the other hand, what’s being said might just “be fightin’ words” and we’re “forced” to talk back.
Of course all of this is speculation, but we do know He was doing only as the Father commanded. He was being completely obedient, humble to the point of imminent death.
This week as you’re gathered around the Thanksgiving table, pray for those surrounding you. There are plenty of arguments that could ensue as you get together but you should just pray for those speaking. If someone asks you, by all means, let them know what you think, but pray a lot this weekend. You’ll be glad you did.