Lessons from Pontius Pilate’s Wife – Speak and Steer


The following is the sermon that was delivered by my loving wife, Sangeetha Johnson, whom I deeply love (although at times, I may be ignorant of expressing it) at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI). I read this recently and was led to share it, so that it benefits us all. Here it is, ad verbatim

She appears in just a single verse of the Bible, but it’s a powerful one. Her name is not mentioned and she is addressed as somebody’s wife. Before we read the verse let us take couple of second to review the details, Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate. The leaders of the Temple have accused him of blasphemy and want him crucified, but Pilate is wavering. Then the Gospel of Matthew adds this tantalizing detail, Matthew 27:19 “When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”

In that statement God speaks to her through a dream and the dream kindles her and makes her troubled. She says she suffered many things on account of Jesus. She was revealed certain truths about Jesus that makes her recognize Jesus to be a just Man. The revelation or dream stirs her spirit not only to be restless but also vocal. She requests her husband to not Judge Jesus (Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat) and in a sense asking him to go against popular opinion, which was to Crucify Jesus.

Lesson 1) God can use anybody even a gentile woman.
I have a friend whom I have known for years, after all these years I still cannot say if she is a righteous, just or innocent woman. Rumors about Jesus and his works may have reached the palace, and she may have even seen or heard Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem. But to know he was righteous and innocent, it had to be God who told her It could only have been the Holy Spirit that revealed it to her. So, God can use anybody rich, poor, woman, man, believer, and even a gentile.

Lesson 2) When God convicts you to speak then do so.
I am guilty of this, we don’t speak up for various reason, the pressure of not going against the tide, the norm, the system, makes us back off from speaking out. In this verse we see Pilate’s wife did not hesitate to speak up even though she could have been labeled a rebel, and though she did not know if her husband would get angry at her for interfering. We should speak up when God convicts us to do so.

Lesson 3) Don’t worry about the results when you obey GOD.
It’s not a matter of whether we see results or whether what we say is recognized or accepted or ignored or rejected. The results of anything God asks us to do are not in our hands, but God’s. Many don’t speak up, saying, “What difference will it make?” or after the fact, “What difference would it have made?” The difference is that if God puts something in our hearts to speak up and we don’t, we have denied God. Here we see Pilate’s wife speak up even if her opinion was different from that of the majority of folks there.

Lesson 4) Steer in the right direction.
The greatest service you can give your family and friends is to steer then in the right direction even if it is contrary to popular opinion. Note to husbands, don’t do what Pilate did; it is okay and good to listen to your wife. :-)

By being vocal she was rendering her SERVICE to GOD, who gave her the dream and to her husband so that he would not be guilty of innocent blood. If only he had listened.

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2 Responses

  1. Good thought Sangeetha!!!
    In fact I notice you are more interested on events surrounding Good Friday- this message along with couple of crucifixion songs on Good Friday and the other song during CFC 2009.

  2. This is great. Today was the first time I can recall reading Matthew 27:19. I’m sure I have read it before but the significance of Pilate’s wife’s dream has never hit me before. I think it is an amazing story of God’s power and ability to change hearts. What blows me away even more is that a Roman woman would ask her husband to not condemn Jesus yet the jews not only condemned Jesus but relished in that fact that His blood would be on their hands and so proud to even put it on their children. It makes me think about how often in life do we proclaim Jesus’ blood on our hands.
    Great thoughts!
    Thanks

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