Courage of Silence


Is The Volume Up?

Do you feel like you live in a world where the volume has been turned up and life is filled with more noise than ever before? Do you sometimes wish for just a little peace and quiet?  It seems our world has gotten louder and filled with more voices as social media has expanded. Social media has created a world where anyone can state an opinion on any topic. Because these views are often shared on a screen from a keyboard there seems to be little to no rules on how to promote proper discourse. Often the words shared are about defending a position, protesting innocence, or seeking justice.


I’ll admit that there are times that these opinions need to be shared and make a difference by calling people to action on something unjust. Sadly, these voices are often more focused on being heard than on finding solutions or searching for truth. To be heard, these voices are often loud and unafraid to use harsh, attacking language to express their thoughts. Unfortunately, in our world, the opinions being shared are more about causing division than seeking to make the world a better place. Given a choice between being loud and opinionated or silent and reflective, our society often chooses the former.


As we have journeyed to the cross this Easter season, I have been challenged to think about the silence of Jesus. As I have looked at examples of Jesus’ silence and thought about its significance, I have wondered how this might help me live as Christ in loud and opinionated world.


Here are some examples where Jesus chose to silence. Jesus was a great teacher, but if you examined his teaching, you would notice when more explanation was possible, he was silent. He would use a parable to say so much with very few words, leaving his audience to contemplate the rich meaning behind his teaching. He would be silent when the crowds were clamoring for more. In those moments where he was being celebrated, he would often retreat away from people to rest, pray, and spend time with God. Jesus was also silent in the face of opposition. In Luke 20, the authority of Jesus is questioned and yet Jesus says I will not tell you where my authority comes from. You can find many examples in the gospels where Jesus could have defended himself or corrected his detractors, but he chose to be silent.


Join us at First Baptist Arlington this Easter Sunday and find courage and hope as you find God in the everyday.


Why would Jesus choose to be silent when the words he spoke and the truths he shared were so powerful?


If anyone had the right to not be silent, defend a position, or speak truth it was Jesus. In the trials where Jesus was unjustly prosecuted and treated unfairly, he was unique in his silence. As he stood before Pilate with his life in the balance, he was questioned about the accusations against him and Matthew 27:14 says, “Jesus made no reply” and “Pilate was amazed.” Why did Jesus not make a defense? In the world we live in, we would boldly and with great voice defend our innocence or our truth. In a world where the volume is turned up and the voices for truth are many, it is difficult to understand why or how Jesus could be silent.


We could spend hours discussing the reasons for the silence of Jesus. Maybe Jesus was silent because he knew God’s plan and was obediently submitting to the father. Jesus’ silence could have been an example of faithful living. He trusted God and lived his life in that faith. His silence could have been about taking on the full wrath of sin including the blame and shame that could have been avoided if he defended himself with a few words of truth. Whatever the reason for his silence, the fact remains that Jesus set this example many times in his life and as disciples, we should exemplify this lifestyle.


Knowing what to do and knowing how to do it are two different concepts and this leaves us with a couple of questions to answer. How can we be silent like Jesus in a world that seems to only hear the loudest voices? When is the right time to be silent? In a world that is searching for truth and answers, surely there are times where our voices need to be heard. Thankfully we can find the answers to these questions as well by examining the life of Jesus.


If you want to know when to be silent and when to speak truth, you must spend time in silence like Jesus. In silence, Jesus would pray and through prayer he would be reunited with God. These times of solitude would lead Jesus to commune with God and be filled with his spirit. I can only imagine what those times were like between the father and the son. The father encourages his son, and the son is reminded of the father’s great love.


As a follower of Jesus, you must spend time in Spirit filled prayer and Spirit led study of the Bible. It is through these times of prayer and study we learn how Jesus would respond and when he would respond. Prayer and study are transformational. As you pray and study you are filled with the Holy Spirit and given the godly wisdom to know how and when to be silent. The more time you spend knowing God, the more you cultivate a spirit of discernment.

This Easter Season

As we approach Easter Sunday, we also approach one of the greatest examples of the silence of Jesus. We spend much time mourning Good Friday and celebrating Resurrection Sunday but often fail to spend much time reflecting on the Silence of Saturday. What was the significance of that day? What was the significance of the silence? As we get closer to Easter, I want to challenge you to examine your life and think about how the silence of Jesus might change how you live your life. Spend time reading Isaiah 53. Think about all this passage says about the sacrifice of Jesus and the suffering he would endure on our behalf. Then read verse 7 and reflect on how even in the Old Testament the silence of Jesus was highlighted.


In a world where Miranda rights are intended to encourage you to be silent so that you can protect yourself from incrimination, essentially hiding your guilt. Maybe our silence as Christians can be seen as an example of our faith and trust in God. Our silence loudly and confidently declares our innocence that was purchased by the blood of Jesus on the cross. As you reflect during this Easter season, may the silence of Jesus allow you to also live in the courage of silence.


Brad Echols

Brad Echols

Brad Echols is the Minister to Adults at First Baptist Arlington. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing racquet sports at a high level, and entering Into conversations about God with the Arlington community.

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