John 19:21-22 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
This chapter in the book of John really draws us to an internal conflict that Pilate is going through. He clearly sees no crime committed by Jesus and yet the Jews are demanding that he be put to death. As a leader in the justice system, this just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He tries to tell them to handle it themselves. They say, “no, you handle it.” He tries to set him free, but they won’t stand for it. They just push Pilate around like he is a pawn.
And these same kinds of things happen everyday. You have a leader that, with good intentions, is trying to balance hearing from the people and leading the people. There are some organizations that end up in a place where the leader is a pawn and just does whatever the employees tell him to do. It’s probably hard to lead a company that way. I would venture to say there are churches with that same dynamic. The pastor becomes intimidated by the people and stops moving forward with the vision God has given him/her and just works on keeping people happy.
But I do like what Pilate does in verse 22. He says, “what I have written, I have written.” He’s had enough. It’s bad enough that he let the people talk him into killing an innocent man; they surely are not going to tell him what to put on the sign. He finally put his foot down on something. I have two takeaways from this. The first is that as a pastor, I must place a great weight on what pleases God. In fact that weight is to be much heavier than on what pleases people. I must stand before and answer to people today, but I will stand before God and answer to him eternally. I’ll choose to focus on the later.
The second takeaway is that we need to do a better job walking in our spiritual authority than Pilate did in his physical authority. We have been given all authority by the power of Jesus name and we ought to walk in that. But we allow ourselves to get pushed around. We allow ourselves to compromise what we know is right. At some point, (and I suggest that point be right now!) we need to put our foot down and walk in the authority that God has given us. Pilate had to come to that point and so do we.