Today's verses are John 18:19,20: "The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.  Jesus answered him, 'I have spoken openly to the world.  I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together.  I have said nothing in secret." My child, it is now in the early morning.  I am before Annas, the former high priest.  He did not like me.  My teachings and actions for the past three years had challenged his authority.  It is no wonder then that he began to question me about my teaching to my disciples.  Though political charges will later be brought against me, charges of insurrection and leading a rebellion, Annas' charges are first theological, not political.

I responded to him that there was never any surreptitious, sinister plot regarding my teaching.  I had always taught my disciples the same truths, whether public or private.  If I was teaching in the synagogues, I taught my Father's truths from heaven.  If I was in the temple area, I taught my Father's truths from heaven.  If I was in a private home, I taught my Father's truths from heaven.  Nothing was ever taught in secret that wasn't consistently taught in public.

My child, I want you to see a very important truth here.  If you follow me, there will be wrong assumptions and accusations made about you.  People will speak vile and wrong things about you because you follow me.  When this happens, realize this truth.  There is a time to defend yourself.  There is another time when you'll need to be quiet and say nothing.

Before Annas, I defended myself.  I corrected his false assumptions and accusations he made against me.  I did this because I wanted all his listeners, and the former high priest himself, to know the truth about me and my teachings.  I came first to the lost sheep of Israel.  Therefore, I corrected him.

Before Pilate, later on, I remained silent when he asked me questions.  At this point, there was no purpose in speaking.  I was truly a lamb being led to slaughter.  I did not need to utter one word.  My fate was sealed.  Pilate was merely a puppet.

Please realize this reality in your own life.  There will be times, before people, when you will need to defend yourself and your love for me.  Other times, you will simply need to be quiet, knowing your words will make little to no difference in people's attitudes toward you.

Listen to my Spirit.  Let him guide you when to speak.  Let him guide you when you don't need to speak.  There is a time to speak and a time to be silent, for yourself, for my sake, for my glory.  You will know what to do when it happens.

I love you.  I praise you for your faithfulness to me with you words.  I praise you for your faithfulness to me in your silence.  I will be with you in both instances.  I promise.  Every day you live I will be with you.

You can trust me today.