I always think about it. In that moment, Pilate must have felt as if he is crucified in silence. Just think about Jesus looking at you: all your falseness, all your masks have fallen away, because they cannot be there when Jesus looks at you. Naked and nude you are standing before him – empty, with nothing.
Pilate was the governor-general of the Roman Empire, but inside, a poor man, a beggar. All that falseness cannot deceive Jesus. He penetrates deep. All your worldly riches are useless. He looks deep down into you and the beggar is caught, the beggar starts becoming restless. This was not asked for.
If Jesus had been a little diplomatic, he should have given a philosophical answer. Pilate was a student of philosophy; he would have understood. Jesus could have convinced him, argued, persuaded. Pilate may have saved Jesus his life. But rather than saying anything he created a climate, a situation, in which Pilate became very restless.
Just think: Jesus looking in you…. Silence becomes embarrassing. This man seems to be dangerous – as if he is pushing a dagger into your heart. Suddenly Pilate must have felt the emptiness, the poverty that he was. He turned aside. He said to the priest, “Take this man away and do whatsoever you like.” But he could not have slept that night, or even for months. Jesus would have haunted him.
A very non-diplomatic answer: Jesus should have said the same thing that Pilate believed. That would have been diplomacy. Politicians say only the things you believe already, then you are with them. They don’t disturb, they console. Their answers are like ointments.
Jesus’ answer to the question “What is truth?” is like a wound in the heart. For his whole life Pilate must have been haunted by the silence. “What did this man mean? Why did he remain silent, why did he look so deeply within me? Why?” In his dreams it must have become a nightmare.
Jesus was not a politician, not even of love. Love cannot be politics. Love is simple, not complex. Politics is very complex and cunning. Love is intelligence; politics is stupidity. Only mediocre people get interested in politics. Love is tremendous intelligence; it is understanding. When you love you are transformed through it.
Politics is always concerned with the society, the nation; is always concerned with the collectivity. Love is always concerned with the individual – because love can flow between two souls: there is no other way. Just like a river flows between two banks, love flows between two souls. Love is individual, intimate, close.
It can flow between one individual and the whole existence, because the whole existence has a soul. That soul is God. But it cannot flow between one individual and society. Society is just a word. It cannot flow between one individual and humanity. Humanity is just a word. There is nobody to receive it, there is nobody to respond to it.