Mark 15:5

But Jesus still made no reply whatever; at which Pilate was astonished.

befuddling authority
takes no grand plan

simply stand outside
the given frame

from such a vantage
cracks are clearer

from one universe over
joy is still an option

together solid silence
remains always an option

Mark builds his story with related scenes. At this point, we are reminded of Herod and Baptizer John.

John was imprisoned by Herod as a threat to his administration. He brought a moral challenge to leadership regarding rules of marital relationship. Jesus extends that to other partnerships with the sick, designated unclean, and the poor and is now in the hands of Pilate.

In 6:20 we heard that Herod protected John before being caught in an extravagant offer. It offers this comment, “Herod listened to John while confused and intrigued by him.”

Pilate, here, is recorded as marveling or filled with wonder at Jesus’ unusual response of silence to the accusations made against him. Bratcher475 indicates Pilate’s response as “almost equivalent to ‘Pilate was dumbfounded.’”

This is the same kind of marveling that the Pharisees and Herodians experienced when Jesus avoided their trap over taxes in 12:13–17.

Such wonder does not keep John safe and it will not keep Jesus safe.

This same marvel describes the response of people to the witness of the Geresene now in his right mind (5:20), Jesus at the lack of faith in his hometown (6:6), the disciples when the storm at sea was stilled ( 6:51), and Pilate again when hearing Jesus died so quickly (15:44). Crowds had a similar response when Jesus was healing and teaching (2:12, 5:42, 6:2, 7:37, 10:26). Similarly, the scribes and chief priest were astonished and frightened at Jesus’ presence (11:18) and will bring Jesus to Pilate. Marveling, being intrigued or amazed at a person is no barrier to danger. The same threat continues for those who build a defense on the basis of establishing relationships with those in power in a hope of changing policies. Whenever it suits those in power, a relationship is sacrificed to maintain the privilege they hold.

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