14 – Washing One’s Hands of Something

Fifty common expressions that originated from the Bible that influence our language today.Helpful – There is also the aspect of God putting His words in the mouths of His prophets (Exodus 4:15; Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 51:16; 59:21; Jeremiah 1:9). The word “prophet” comes from the Latin pro meaning “instead of,” and phet meaning “to speak.” Thus, a prophet was to speak in the place of God (see Exodus 7:1). Today, while we do not speak by “inspiration,” we still have the opportunity and obligation of speaking God’s Words.

Washing One’s Hands of Something – “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it” (Matthew 27:24).

Means to deny any responsibility for something or someone. The quote is found often in literature and everyday conversations. Shakespeare used this expression in his play, Richard III, Act 1, Scene IV.

A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch’d!
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous guilty murder done!

We must remember, just because we “wash our hands of something,” does not mean we are absolved of guilt. Tradition tells us that Pilate spent the last years of his life up in the mountains of Switzerland, washing his hands constantly. When anyone asked him, “What are you doing?” he said, “I am trying to wash the blood stain of Jesus Christ off my hands.”

Pilate tried to remain neutral by not deciding, however, no decision is a decision. A.B. Simpson wrote:

“What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
“What will He do with me?”

Posted in Influence

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