“Procla and Pontius”

On April 7, Pastor Katy preaches on Matthew 27:11-19.

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. 17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.”

Throughout the Bible and throughout history, God has a tendency to use unexpected people. As Jesus stood before the crowd, accused and on trial, Pontius Pilate was faced with a decision. As a man who typically had no problem sentencing someone to death, Pilate was greatly amazed by Jesus’ silence in the face of his accusers. The Gospel of Matthew shares in a single verse how Pilate’s wife sent a message warning him to have nothing to do with the innocent Jesus, and yet Pilate still had a job to do. Tradition over the years has read this passage about Pilate and his wife in many different ways, some interpreting her dream as a message from God and others as a message from the devil. What voices we listen to in making our own decisions and judgments matters a great deal, and often the greatest wisdom comes from unexpected places.