This chapter begins with Judas betraying Jesus. Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, yet didn’t prevent it because He knew it had to be done to fulfill the bigger picture. Jesus was able to resist being offended by the fact that one of His followers was going to betray Him. So often we get offended by the littlest things and what we don’t truly realize is that we lost the right to be offended by anything the moment we chose to surrender and give our lives to Jesus. Jesus resisted the opportunity to be offended when He was betrayed and His betrayal is far bigger than what we face today. That betrayal set the events in motion for what was to come. Jesus is our example to follow, when someone does you wrong, instead of taking offense, choose to not take it personal and dwell in the offense. Choose to stay in His peace and be free from the nagging desire to be offended.
Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times, which he did. When persecution comes it isn’t always easy to stand our ground in our faith in Jesus, but we need to ask God to help us, to give us the boldness needed to withstand the persecution. Persecution will come to all, we need to be able to rise above it and not fall or coward to it.
Pilate had asked Jesus if He was a king to which Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world other wise His servants would have fought Jesus being handed over to them. We need to remember this, in the world but not of it, His kingdoms is not of this world. After Pilate spoke with Jesus he didn’t see any guilt in Him, yet he didn’t have he boldness to resist the crowd and the pharisees. Pilate knew Jesus didn’t deserve what was coming but fear of man kept him from doing the right thing. Fear of man is incredibly dangerous when entertained, it can make someone do wrong things time and time again. To truly be free and follow Jesus we have to be free from fear of man. Pilate didn’t have it in him to do the right thing so he decided to allow the crowd to decide if Jesus should be set free or Barabbas. It was custom that at passover a prisoner would be set free and Pilate was hoping the crowd would release Jesus so he wouldn’t have to move forward with what he knew was wrong. Yet the crowd chose Barabbas because of the pharisees and rather than putting his foot down Pilate instead acted as a coward and gave the mob what they wanted.
It is so important to know Jesus and build your relationship with Him. The more we know Him and the closer we are too Him the easier it will be to resist temptation from the enemy. It’ll be easier to deal with persecution when we are close with Jesus and the closer we are too Him the more of His boldness we will have to do the right thing.