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Verses 12-14

Matthew 27:12-14. When he was accused of the chief priests, &c., he answered nothing In consequence of the conversation that took place between Jesus and Pilate, referred to in the preceding note, Pilate was inclined to acquit Jesus, declaring he found in him no fault at all; but the priests were not disconcerted, nor abashed by the public declaration which the governor, in obedience to conscience and truth, made of the prisoner’s innocence; for they persisted in their accusations with more vehemence than before, affirming that he had attempted to raise a sedition in Galilee; see Luke 23:5. To this heavy charge Jesus answered nothing. Nay, he continued mute, notwithstanding the governor expressly desired him to speak in his own defence, saying, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? Yes, he did hear, and still hears all that is witnessed unjustly against his truth and ways; but he keeps silence because it is the day of his patience, and does not answer as he shortly will, Psalms 50:3. In answering nothing to the accusations of the witnesses, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, chap. Isaiah 53:7. But a conduct so extraordinary, in such circumstances, astonished Pilate exceedingly, for he had good reason to be persuaded of Christ’s innocence. Indeed, his humble appearance was a sufficient refutation of the charge which the Jews brought against him, and his silence served instead of the most elaborate defence; and possibly he might decline making any public defence, lest the common people, moved by what he must have said, should have asked his release, and prevented his death; in which respect he showed his followers a noble example of courage and submission to the divine will. Besides, the gross falsehood of the accusation, known to the chief priests themselves, and to all the inhabitants of Galilee, rendered any reply needless.

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