The Warning of A Wife: Matthew 27:19
“19) While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.”” Matthew 27:19
This has always been a mystery verse. In the middle of the trial of Jesus, the wife a Pilate sent an urgent message to him to “have nothing to do with that righteous man, for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” The New Living Translation says; “… Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”” The reader is left reflecting on “the night of suffering” during that first Passover back in Egypt as the destroying angel passed over the land.
Because of the dream, she knew Jesus was a righteous or innocent man. She did not want her husband to bring innocent blood on himself or his family. The dream or nightmare was so terrifying that it moved her to the extraordinary measure of warning her husband… right in the middle of the trial. Exactly what she dreamed was not disclosed.
Can you imagine the seen, the trial is tense and voices are loud and boisterous. Jesus is standing before the judgment seat. All eyes are on Pilate. Then suddenly a messenger walks over to him and interrupts the trial with either a verbal or written message from his wife. For a moment, time stands still. Wonder comes over the crowd.
What happens next is even a greater mystery. According to Matthew 27:19, the message from Pilate’s wife was entered into the public record. How else did it get into the story? The next verse reads as if the chief priests and elders of the people doubled down on their efforts against Jesus to counter the effect of the message from Pilate’s wife.
Dreams played an important role in a number of stories in the Bible. Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, the step father of Jesus and even Paul had dreams of divine origin. God can and does use dreams to both warn and direct people. Yet, Colossians 3:18 warns against taking action based exclusively on a dream or vision. I suspect that Satan can also manipulate dreams.
I use a dream as one of several ways to confirm God’s leading. It has to line up with the “ways of God as reveled in the Bible.” (See Isaiah 6-11) If a dream is contrary to the morals or principles of Scripture, I discard it as being deception. God’s Word is always the grid to measure truth.
In the case of Pilate’s wife, it is instructive that her relationship with her husband was such that she had access to him even in the middle of an important event. Husbands take note, God can give crucial guidance through the intuition of a wife. Keep the doors of communications wide open, especially when you are sitting on the judgement seat ready to make an important decision.
Though I admit speculation, it seems that the actions of Pilate to liberate Jesus as an innocent man were partly influenced by his wife. I also attribute that the washing of his hands from the blood of Jesus had something to do with this warning from his wife. He tried to distance himself and his family from the condemnation of Jesus.
It appears that Jesus was turned over to crucifixion without a guilty verdict from Pilate. In fact, Pilate maintained His innocence.
Here is a strange twist to the crucifixion story; Jesus became a peace offering to the Jewish leaders to prevent an insurrection or bloody revolt. Look carefully; the Jewish leaders were guilty of the very crime Barabbas was charged with in Luke 23:19. Their actions amounted to insurrection and the murder of an innocent man.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global