Blessed… Sometimes It’s Better to Say Nothing

57 Those who arrested Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest. The legal experts and the elders had gathered there. 58 Peter followed him from a distance until he came to the high priest’s courtyard. He entered that area and sat outside with the officers to see how it would turn out.

59 The chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 They didn’t find anything they could use from the many false witnesses who were willing to come forward. But finally, they found two 61 who said, “This man said, ‘I can destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days.’”

62 Then the high priest stood and said to Jesus, “Aren’t you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?”

63 But Jesus was silent Matthew 26:57-63, Common English Bible).

There is a story told in my wife’s family when one of her brothers talked his way into a bit of trouble. It started out with the telling of a story. Cindy’s mother then asked of one of her brothers, “Do you have anything to add?” Cindy’s brother then said something. When he finished, her mother said, “And?” and the brother added more to the story. Things continued that way until the whole story was out in the open.

Cindy’s mother had no idea what the brother had been up to but he didn’t know that. Thinking his mom had already heard all about it, each time she said, “And?” he would continue with more of the story. The short answer is because he didn’t know that sometimes it’s better to just be quiet, he, in essence, told on himself.

For those of us who like to talk, and I am one, it is a hard lesson to learn. When I first went into the ministry I had the delusional idea that I could talk with anyone about my politics. I majored in political science for my undergraduate degree. I was used to having open political debates. When I entered the ministry it didn’t take long for me to learn I will usually be better off if I just learn to keep my mouth shut. It was a lesson I had to learn again in the last election cycle. It is a lesson I am still trying to learn.

In our lesson for today the Pharisees in general and Caiaphas, the chief priests and the whole council were looking for a way to bring charges against Jesus so they could put him to death. And, they were willing to accept false testimony in order to do so.

It took a little while but they finally found two people who were willing to say, “Jesus said, ‘I can destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days.’” Jesus just stood there. He said nothing. In truth, it wouldn’t have mattered what he said. They were determined to find a way. If they were going to kill him anyway, what would be the point in talking?

There is a lesson in that for us. Sometimes, because of our faith, and sometimes for other reasons, there are people out there who, with determination in their hearts, seek to discredit us, or worse. There are times to defend things and there are times we should let it go because perhaps we will make things worse (I am not saying that is what Jesus would have done) or added fuel to their fire. If they are determined to have their way, maybe we should let it go. The truth will come out in the end.

Maybe what we need is, to let God do the talking for us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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