13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”  [a] 18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) 20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.” 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
Here is a case of the insistent,
demanding voices prevailing.
Pilate did not want to condemn Jesus to death. He knew that Jesus was not guilty of any crime and he was planning to release Jesus. But the crowd pressured Pilate to go against his conscience and follow their demands to crucify Jesus.
The pressure of people’s opinions can be a powerful force, driving us to do and/or say things that we later regret. I think we’ve probably all been there – I certainly have.
Proverbs tells us that “the fear of man is a snare” (Prov 29:25). When we are more concerned with people’s opinions rather than God’s opinion we will inevitably get caught.
The fear of God is the antidote to the trap of the fear of man. The more I focus on what my Father in heaven thinks, the less I am pressured by what people think of me.
Lord help me today, and every day to make choices that honour You, not driven by the need to impress others.
Written by Shelley Witt