Signs of a Coward

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Deuteronomy 30-31; Mark 15:1-25


12 Pilate replied, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?”

13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done?”

They shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”

15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd, so he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:12-15, Common English Bible)

I read through the Scriptures. I decided where my focus would be. I came up with the title. Then I went out on the internet to find a picture. It is my usual routine when I start working on a post. What was unusual today was, when I typed in the title on Google (Google is the first place I look for a graphic), before I could look at images I saw the list of “signs of a coward. I felt obliged to share it with you.

  • He’s almost always dishonest.
  • He puts up a false bravado. …
  • He is constantly apologizing. …
  • He can sometimes be… delusional. …
  • His every move is calculated. …
  • Shys away from confrontation. …
  • He cannot face his fears. …
  • He always plays safe.


As I read the list, I couldn’t help but think all of these except, “He is constantly apologizing,” to my way of thinking, were characteristics of Pilate. Read the stories. I think you might just agree.

I found it interesting. When I read the list (from I was able to see Pilate all over it because the things I was thinking, are actually on the list.

“He’s almost always dishonest.” I am not sure we can actually see it here, but Biblical scholars and commentators certainly talk of Pilate’s dishonesty.

“He puts up a false bravado.” We don’t see it so much in Mark’s Gospel but in John’s Gospel we see Pilate saying things like, “Am I Jew?” Everyone knew Pilate wasn’t a Jew. Pilate also asks Jesus, “Don’t you know I have the power to release you or crucify you?” Again, he states the obvious. Perhaps it isn’t false bravado but bravado none the less.

He was delusional. He had a delusion that Jesus might not be who he said he was. He refers to Jesus as “The King of the Jews.” At the same time, however, he is saying it with sarcasm.

“His every move is calculated.” He didn’t want in the middle of it so when he finds that Herod is in town, he passes the buck and sends Jesus to Herod, who then just passes him back.

“Shys away from confrontation.” Our lesson tells us that Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowds. Pilate held the power. Why would he need to satisfy the crowds? He cracked down on them (see “His every move is calculated) with violence at times. Here he shied away from confrontation.

“He cannot face his fears.” Again, he wanted to satisfy the crowds. He is so afraid of the crowds, he releases a man who was in open rebellion against the government and had committed murder.

“He always plays it safe.” Pilate knew Jesus had done nothing wrong. He knew there was no reason for the crucifixion, at least as far as the government was concerned. And yet, because it was the safe thing to do, Pilate had Jesus crucified.

I would be negligent if I didn’t say, while the Jews brought charges against Jesus and insisted on Jesus’ crucifixion, and yes, Pilate did sentence him to die, make no mistake, we are as guilty of crucifying Jesus as well. Our sin did just as much to crucify Jesus as the Jews or as Pilate. You and I need to be thankful that we too are included when Jesus said, “Forgive them Father for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34a).” That is grace. It is also always something for which we should give thanks.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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