17:27 Few Words, Calm Replies

Christ before Ciaphas.

He that has knowledge spares his words; and a man of understanding is of a cool spirit.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie Radio (based on a true story) has Coach Harold Jones (well-played by Ed Harris) criticized in the barber shop for brefriending Radio, a young man with a disability. Rather than defend himself with many words, he asks, “Is that what you think Radio is? A Distraction?” Setting down his coffee cup he adds in a calm voice, “Think I’m going to do us all a big favor and let you all finish this one on your own.”

Whether or not that was the real character of Jones (he loses his temper with a referee once), he comes across as terse, wise and self-controlled in this scene and several others. It aptly illustrates Solomon’s proverb.

Jesus illustrates it even better. His teachings were terse and memorable. His responses to heckling and to honest questions were brief, well-considered, and to the point. On several occasions (most notably with the woman taken in adultery, and at his trials), the Gospels comment on his silence. In all these things, he showed true knowledge and understanding.

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