Sometimes, the less you say – the more you say. All husbands know what “the silent treatment” means. Parents know that when the children get quiet – they’re up to something! If teachers really want to “unnerve” their class – trying to raise your voice above the noise doesn’t work nearly as well as just standing there, quietly staring at them. Silence, though often is misunderstood – it is never misquoted!
Jesus used this tactic in John 8:1-8, when the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the very act of adultery to Jesus. The Law of Moses said that she should be stones, but they were tempting Jesus and asked him, “What do you think?” hoping to accuse Him. Jesus acted like He hadn’t heard them and stooped down to write on the ground for a few minutes. Finally, He spoke, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” The men, from the oldest to the youngest left, one by one, being convicted by their own conscience.” Nothing more was needed to be said.
Something similar happened to Peter on the night of Jesus’ betrayal. When Jesus told His disciples that, “All ye shall be offended because of Me this night.” Peter quickly spoke up with a “Not me, Lord! I won’t ever be offended because of You!” Jesus then told Peter that before the rooster crows, Peter would deny Him three times. When that very thing happened a few hours later, Jesus spoke not a word – He just turned and looked at Peter, and Peter remembered the words that Jesus had said. He ran out of the courtyard and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:54-62)
One of the pleas of the Restoration Movement was, “Speak, where the Bible speaks. Be silent, where the Bible is silent.” We must take care not to “put words in the Lord’s mouth.” I’ve always heard that “Silence is golden.” Yes, it may be misunderstood, but it will never be misquoted! God Bless, Courtney