He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
Jesus reflects a humble attitude before His tormentors: “When He was reviled, did not revile in return” (1 Pet. 2:23). Though under sustained provocation, Jesus spoke no evil because there was no sin in His heart.
However, under similar provocation, our reaction would be more like that of the apostle Paul’s. When he was on trial before the Sanhedrin, the high priest Ananias ordered him to be struck on the mouth. His immediate response to Ananias was, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!” (Acts 23:3). Paul immediately had to apologize—such an exclamation against a high priest was against the law (vv. 4–5; cf. Ex. 22:28).
Paul wasn’t perfect. He is not our standard of righteousness. Only Christ is a perfect standard of how to handle the reviling of one’s enemies.
Like our Master, we are never to abuse those who abuse us.