When Jesus was being questioned before Pilate he responded to the four different questions they asked, but when they began to level accusations against him he “made no response, not even to a single charge” (Matt. 27:14). He answered questions about whether or not he was the king of the Jews but not respond to empty allegations. What does this suggest as to what we should do when we find ourselves being questioned about our faith?
It is important to note that when he answered their valid questions, he did so in a polite and effective way. When asked if he were the king of the Jews he responded, “The words are yours” (Mark 15:2). When Pilate thought he had caught him implying kingship, he said, ”You are the one calling me a king” (John 18:37). But when valid questioning gave way to false accusations Jesus simply did not answer. It is commonly known that an effective gambit in “discussion” (read “arguing”) is to put the other person on the defensive. Suddenly your explanation of why you did or said something turns into a defense against things you didn’t do or say. It seems to work every time and Jesus understood the evil intention of his accusers. He did not respond to a single one of their phony claims against him.
The lesson for us in this story is not to be tricked into defending ourselves when accused falsely about some aspect of our faith. An example might be the claim that we think we are going to heaven because we are such good people. A wrong response would be to list all the many good things we have done in life, as if the number of our good deeds had placed us on the fast track to heaven. Not only would we have been tricked into supporting a false doctrine but we would have wasted time and energy in doing what worked against us. Silence is the answer to that sort of question. At the same time, when given the chance to explain our faith to a nonbeliever we should answer with wisdom and grace. That is what Jesus did. It is a helpful idea to think of him when facing the moral and religious questions of life. What would Jesus do? is still the best question to pose to our self in all those critical moments.
Note: Should you like to read my translation of the gospel of Mark, The Story of Jesus, by Peter, go to: https://www.biblicaltraining.org/introduction/story-of-jesus-peter
It was Peter who supplied Mark with the information for his gospel, so I had Peter do the narration. If you would like a free copy you can download the book as a pdf as well.