“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?’ But Jesus remained silent.”
| Matthew 26:62-63 |
“When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor.”
| Matthew 27: 12-14 |
On a number of occasions, Jesus was given the opportunity to defend His case, to prove that He in fact was the Son of God. But instead, He chose to remain silent. He chose not to respond to His accusers and not to acknowledge the false accusations made toward Him. Why? Yes so that prophecy would be fulfilled, but I also believe there is more to Jesus’ response of mere silence in a situation where most of us would defend ourselves to the death.
You see, Jesus was going about His Father’s business. He came to earth to fulfil what was ordained by God. His purpose came from God. Therefore, Jesus answered to God and not man. Though tempted with numerous opportunities to prove His identity to others, Jesus chose not to give in to that temptation. He overcame any attempt to distract Him from fulfilling His purpose.
In the same way, each of us has been given a purpose by God. A purpose marked by eternity. Therefore, as we live on purpose for a purpose which we have received from God, we are accountable to Him. However, in recognition of this purpose, the enemy will also tempt us with the distraction of answering to people and not God, of seeking validation from others rather than God.
I believe that in those moments before His destiny at the cross (and at all other times), Jesus was setting an example for us to follow. Jesus demonstrates that even to our very last breath, we answer to God above all. As Jesus maintained an eternal, heavenly perspective, so should we – with the help of the Holy Spirit.
As I have journeyed through many seasons with the common temptation of wanting to win the approval of others, one scripture to which I have always gone back to help shift my mindset, is the following:
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” | Galatians 1:10
The more that I meditate on scripture from the Word of God like the one above, the more I grow in knowledge of the will of God and as a result, the less I live to please others. This has personally been one of the most freeing revelations for me. Once I shed the labels that had been given to me over the years and stopped acting according to what others expected of me, I started to walk into the limitless future that God has for me. I can hardly believe the person I have become compared to the person I was years ago! All because I simply chose to answer to God. It’s not easy, and a decision that I have to make every day, to not get caught up in people pleasing but instead get on with pursuing God and His purpose for my life.
Have you battled the tension between pleasing God and pleasing others? How have you dealt with it? Leave a comment below!