Don’t Upset the Boss!
Ask the Lord to help you always seek to please him above all people and human authorities.
Read John 19:1-16
 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.  The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe  and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.  Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”  When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”  As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”  The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”  When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid,  and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.  “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”  Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”  From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”  When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha).  It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.  But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.  Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhere did Pilate's power and authority come from?
What will people think? To a greater or lesser extent that question bugs us all at some time. It certainly got to Pilate. Three times he declared Jesus innocent (18:38, 19:4,6) and yet ultimately it is Pilate who authorized his execution (16). Why didn’t he do the right thing and use his God-given authority (11) to protect the innocent man? The answer is found in the provocative question implied by the Jews in verse 12: “What will Caesar think?” Pilate was willing to go against the Jewish authorities and the crowds in the streets, but there was someone in Rome he was certainly not going to cross (13)! Jesus spoke about the difficulty of serving two masters (Matt. 6:24). In a world of voices clamoring for our attention, our affection, and our decisions, we need help to courageously serve only our True Master, and to follow him most courageously. In the end, actions speak louder than words, and for all his protestations of Jesus’ innocence, Pilate demonstrated who his true master was by his choice to hand Jesus over to be crucified.
In what ways do your choices demonstrate who you are really serving? Are any changes needed?
Lord, I want to serve only one master: You. Help me keep my heart, mind and will focused on that goal.