Lesson Fifteen | Devotion #3: Pilate’s Wife
Danielle Hardenburg | Nursery & Pre-K Director
The truth can often be uncomfortable. The noise and business of this world can make us want to hunker down pretending we are in control of our lives (or at least try to make it look like we are) instead of genuinely owning where we truly are. Challenging our brothers and sisters in truth can be even tougher and sometimes very confrontational. Pilate’s wife, Claudia (as historians have noted), was in this situation.
In Matthew 27, we learn about Pilate handing Jesus over to be crucified. Pilate knew why Jesus was imprisoned. He knew that the priests were jealous of this popular teacher and they wanted Him dead. The crowd, there at the Feast, was calling for Jesus’ blood and they wanted Him crucified. As a Roman governor, Pilate held some political power which he was not willing to risk over some man in prison. Scripture tells us that Pilate’s conscience even knew Jesus was innocent, but he was not going to rock the boat and put his occupation on the line for Jesus. Pilate’s wife even came to him while he was on the judgment seat calling for Jesus’ release saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man.” She was convinced that Jesus was blameless because of a troubling dream she had that day. I am sure that Pilate’s wife wanted what was best for her husband and that she also knew the “popular” choice was not to let Jesus go free. However, that did not stop her from speaking truth to her husband who was in a position to do something about it.
Her efforts could have persuaded her husband and cost him his job and status. It could have cost her the comfortable lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. However, she pleaded the truth just the same. Pilate in the end just decided to walk away from the situation. He seemed to think he could relieve himself from the circumstances by turning Jesus over to the crowd and washing his hands of the whole situation.
Have you ever been in a position where making a stand was hard? Maybe the right choice was not the popular choice, and you felt the weight of what you could lose from speaking the truth? Maybe it was to a friend or someone in your family, or even to yourself? Sometimes speaking the truth is not the marketable option and sometimes appears it is just easier to do nothing.
Claudia had a dream. She knew it was real. She challenged her husband. Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Zechariah 8:16 adds, “These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace.”
Love and mercy are essential, but there are times we need to step up and speak up.