letting go of status: meet Claudia
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” Matthew 27:15-19 | ESV
We don’t even know her name, nor do we know what she dreamt that night.
Tradition tells us her name was Claudia.
Our imagination has to fill in the details of her dream. But whatever it was, she had “suffered much” because of it.
Perhaps it was a painful dream of all they would lose – all she would lose – if this man, this Galilean peasant, was delivered over to voices clamoring for his death with her husband’s complicit involvement.
Perhaps, as is the case with so many people of politics or privilege, her greatest fear and the primary reason a dream would cause her to suffer would be anything that threatened the loss of position or status.
Few words can be as unnerving as the one Paul shared with the early Corinthian believers:
“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. I want you to be free from anxieties.”
Everything is about to change, the board of life is going to be reset.
And I don’t want you to worry about it.
Most of us who have possession and status would rather not contemplate the idea of living as though we didn’t. We like our stuff and we cling to our status. Perhaps this was driving Pilate’s wife, just as it drove the high priest to “prophesy” that one man would die and thereby save the nation, because if he didn’t die the Romans would come and steal their place and their nation. The instinct for self-preservation and status-maintenance (or, even better, improvement) runs deep.
Of all the things we are willing to leave at the feet of Jesus, our stuff and our status may be the hardest, the most sticky, as we, like the rich young ruler, go away sorrowful,
for we have many possessions.
What thing or things do you find yourself clinging to the hardest? What is the key to letting go of our stuff and our status?
Lord, take my faith to that place where with Paul I find myself saying, “Whatever was gain to me I now consider loss for the sake of knowing Christ.” Let me hold whatever stuff and status I may possess here with an open hand before you to be used, or released, as you would have it. Through Christ.