“Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.”
St. Luke 23:9
This is taken from St. Luke’s account of Jesus before Herod after his arrest in the garden. It puzzled me for many years why Jesus would remain silent here, as it seemed such an opportune time for a golden speech in front of the chief priests and scribes and the men of war who witnessed this interrogation. But instead of my grand notions of wise words and a great debate, Jesus says nothing in His defense. The witnesses then mock and treat him with contempt. I think it’s safe to say that if I had been a witness to this event, I would have been disappointed in Jesus. But then, my standards of justice are of this world and there is a great lesson in Jesus’ silence.
I think I have a greater understanding now of why He was quiet. I don’t claim to understand fully, but I have learned in life that there is a time for words and a time to be quiet. To give him Truth who does not love Truth is to only give more reason for argument. Jesus knew Herod wasn’t on a mission to discover the Truth. Herod wanted to be entertained by Jesus, to see a miracle, as if watching a magician.
How many times have I engaged in fruitless conversation or debate just to walk away frustrated... I pray for discernment, that God will show me when to speak and when to be silent. Lord have mercy!