R4E130830 – Claudia Procula (New Testament Character Study) by Douglas Jacoby
The wife of Pilate
- Note: If you haven’t yet listened to the podcast on Pontius Pilate, please do so now, as this will provide helpful background information so that you may better understand Claudia.
- What was it like to relocate because of your husband’s career?
- What was it like to move to a distant land?
- What was it like to move where people didn’t speak your language?
The text & Claudia’s dream
- Matthew 27:19: 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.”
- The dream was Thursday night / Friday morning of the Passion Week.
- Some early Christians said that her dream was sent by God to help her become a Christian.
- Others suggested that this was a scheme of Satan to thwart the crucifixion.
- In fact, God spoke through dreams to several other people in the course of biblical history. In particular, non-believers to whom he spoke include:
- Pharaoh (Genesis 40-41)
- Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2)
- Xerxes (Esther 6:1)
- The list is not exhaustive; the Lord spoke to many believers and non-believers alike, though it is not easy to discern whether or to what extent he still speaks to us by this means in our time.
In later legend:
- Orthodox saint!
- 4th C. Acts of Pilate — more elaborate. She appears in the earlier 2nd C. literature also.
- These documents tended to paint Christianity and Rome as relating positively. That is, they may have propaganda.
- Could she have become a Christian? In Acts we see several upper-class women responding to the gospel, so it cannot be ruled out. Yet there is no direct evidence for this speculation.
Lessons for us
- Learn from all the character of the Bible: major, minor; believer, non-believer; male, female…
- Be sensitive to subtle cues God may be giving us.
- [Repeated from Pilate lesson:] Don’t ignore your wife’s counsel. After all, women are often more spiritually attuned than men.
- If your husband is a knucklehead, do share spiritual input. Yet make it count; be strategic:
- The right subject.
- The right time.
- The right tone.