Inside – the high priest began asking Jesus about His followers, and what He had been teaching them. Jesus replied – “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple – where the people gather. I have not spoken in secret. Why are you asking Me this question ? Ask those who heard Me. They know what I said.”
Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest ?” he demanded.
Jesus replied – “If I said anything wrong – you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth – why are you beating me ?”
Then Annas bound Jesus and sent Him to Caiaphas – the high priest.
In Part 5 of my continuing sermon leading-up to Resurrection Sunday I continue from the Gospel of John – Chapter 18. In Verses 19 to 24 John writes about the high priest and his questioning of Jesus. (This is the morning that He was crucified – what we now know as Good Friday.)
This questioning was in accordance with Roman law at the time where defendants were questioned directly. It was an attempt for the defendant – Jesus – to incriminate Himself. This differed from Jewish law where witnesses were questioned instead to establish guilt. Jesus replied that they should talk to the witnesses – His followers – as everything that He had taught them was not done in secret. It was done in a public forum – free for anyone to see and hear.
One of the Temple guards was so insulted at what he saw as rude and disrespectful answers to authority that he slapped Jesus across the face.
Jesus obviously knew that he was in the right. No witnesses accused Him of anything. No evidence was presented.
Let’s continue on with Verses 25 to 27, and Peter’s 2ND and 3RD denials of Jesus:
Meanwhile – as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself – they asked him again – “You’re not one of His disciples – are you ?”
He denied it – saying – “No – I am not.”
But one of the household slaves of the high priest – a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off – asked – “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus ?” Again – Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.
Sometimes it may seem convenient to keep your personal relationship with Jesus Christ a secret in order to avoid questioning, mocking, ridiculing, and persecuting by those of the world who hate us for who we follow and what we believe. I think that we’re all guilty of that at times when we’re distracted by the world and not focused on our King of Kings. Christ said (in red letters) – “But everyone who denies Me here on earth – I will also deny before My Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)
I’ll continue this journey through John Chapter 18 – next Sunday Scripture.
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