The Trials of Jesus before the Chief Priest!!!
And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said,”This Fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”……. Matthew 26:57-68
In our previous Study, we saw how Judas betrayed Jesus with a Kiss and the Love of Jesus towards Judas by calling Him Friend. We also saw how Peter responded in a Human way because He failed to Watch and Pray before Temptation came. We also saw How All His Disciples forsook Him despite their great boast of Dying for their Master. Here we read of Jesus standing and being questioned by the High Priest and His attitude when He was being questioned and accused Falsely.
And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.: Here we see the depth of Evil in which religious people can sink. Although Jesus was captured late in the night, when others were asleep in their bed, yet because of their hatred for Jesus, they denied themselves sleep and gathered together waiting for his arrival. It is interesting to see that Peter Followed Jesus but it was at a Distance, He followed afar off. Though Peter Loves His Master, yet the fear of death and desire for His own safety overcame Him. His closeness, intimacy and deep communion with His Master is now missing. There is now at Distance between Him and the Lord. This is the beginning of Peter’s denial of Jesus. If we follow the Lord at a Distance, very soon we will lose sight of Him. If we follow Him at a Distance, gradually we will go back from Him. There are many Believers who no longer share intimacy with Jesus. Although they have not turned back yet neither have they denied the Lord yet but they are no more as close and intimate as they used to be. Their fire, zeal and fervency for Jesus has reduced. This is the first step to betraying Jesus, let us therefore check our Lives to see at what Distance we follow the Lord. Another thing we see about Peter was that He sat with the servants and warned himself at the Fire(Luke 22:55). It seems to me that Peter began to feel cold and lonely. Loneliness is the first signal that a Believer has missed His steps from the Lord. Each time we feel Lonely, it is an indication that we have lost the friendship and fellowship God has created around us. When we are out of fellowships with the Lord and other brothers and sisters, the Devil is so quick to Kindle a fire and gather an alternative Fellowship around us. Since Peter had lost Fellowship with Jesus and the other Disciples, the servants of the Wicked became attractive to Him. Since He had missed His own company, the Devil offered him another one. So Peter sat with them. And I can imagine the Servants making jest of Jesus and His Disciples, I can imagine them mimicking His sermons and Miracles. But Peter could say nothing. He had already lost His identity. Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful(Psalm 1:1). Am Sure this passage must have re-echoed in Peter’s mind but what could He do, He wanted to see the end of the Matter. He followed the Lord only to satisfy His curiosity of what will happen. He followed Him not as a Disciple but as a spectator. He followed Him not to learn of Him of How to behave when found in a situation like this. There are many who follow the Lord only to see the end of Miracles and wonders but not to receive Grace to walk as He Walked. Permit me to ask you, “Why are You following Him?”
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none.: Can you imagine the Chief priests who were the ones teaching the People of Israel God’s word doing this? They had the Bible(Genesis to Malachi) with them. The council were the Elders of God’s people. But look at how evil they have become. When they knew that they could not condemn Jesus in any other way, they were willing to get false witnesses against Him in order that they might put Him to death. They sought for it!!! This things are written for our instructions. Man has not changed over the years instead they have become worse. It is possible for a person to hold the Bible and preach from the Bible and Yet do unrighteous things that even godless Atheist will not do. To seek to condemn the Righteous is happening even today in Christendom. Remember the people who wanted Jesus to be Crucified were the Elders of the one nation on Earth that had the True Scriptures. It was not the Roman soldiers that wanted Jesus to be Crucified, it was the Leaders of the Jews. They had the True religion but they lack the Life. This is a warning to all those who call themselves Christian today who carry the Bible and preach from the Bible. It is possible to have the Bible in your hand and be so Evil and heartless like those who Crucified Jesus. It is very easy to say like the Pharisees said in Matt 23:30 ” ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’” but they didn’t realize that they were doing it in their days. Don’t be so quick to say that if you were there, you would not have Crucified Jesus. If you are not walking in purity Humility, brokenness and divine Love that shows goodness to even ones enemies in these days, then we would have Crucified Christ if we are living in His days.
But at last two false witnesses came forward and said,”This Fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” : Finally Two came out and Misquoted what Jesus had said. What Jesus actually said was,” “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.(John 2:19)” but what they reported was that Jesus said, “I am able to destroy the Temple”. The fact that they added and subtracted from what He said makes it a false witness. We must we very careful when called upon to report a case and avoid adding or subtracting lest we become a false witness.
And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!: This is a great Lesson for us that when we are accused falsely, it is no use defending ourselves because they would produce other false witnesses. It is no use arguing with people who have no ear for the Truth. There are times we need to clear our name but the Bible says two things in Proverb 26:4-5 which looks like contradicting but it is not. It says “Do not answer a fool according to his folly,Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly Lest he be wise in his own eyes.” The High priest here was a Fool and Jesus refuse to answer Him according to His folly. There are situations where we need to be silent, and there are other situations where we need to Speak. And it is the Holy spirit alone that can give us that discernment as to which situation is which. If you are led by the Spirit, you will know when to speak and when to be Silent. And the Chief priest puts Him under an oath and Here Jesus answered a fool according to his Foolishness lest He become Wise in His own eyes.
Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”: And Jesus answered Him clearly. He would not deny the Truth. He told Him plainly That He was the Son of God. But the Chief priest could not believe it. He could not imagine that a Poor Carpenter like Jesus is the Son of God. People cannot recognize the True Servants of God because they are so simple and unimpressive in their appearance. Christ testify to Who He was and the Hope He had in the Future and we also must testify that we are Sons and Daughters of God and that Christ is coming back again in the future. There are many Christians who have testified like this when they were Persecuted. They stood their ground and choose not to deny that they were Christians. Although they were burnt and kill, yet they refuse to deny their faith in Jesus. It must never be said about us that because we seek to save our lives, we denied who will truly are in God before Men.
Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” : The Chief Priest was determined to condemn Him. so He showed a sign of disgust at what He had said. Jesus spoke the Truth and left the matter there. He did not argue.
Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”: What was Jesus response to these things? Silent!!! He had powers but he would not use it. When it concerns the Glory of God and the temple being defiled, He was fiery and bold to chase them out. But when they slap Him and insult His Dignity and Honour, or anything concerning Himself, He never defended Himself. Learn from this. They despise Spiritual gifts and make mockery of Him but He kept His mouth shut. We are surrounded with people who despise Spiritual gifts. And we don’t have to prove to them that we are right. In the old testament, when people spoke against Moses, they were judged immediately, but those who spat and slapped Jesus gets forgiveness. If we desire that those who treat us badly should be judged, we are followers of Moses and not of Jesus.
Dear Friend, if you follow the Lord at a Distance, you will soon lose sight of Him. If you follow Him afar off, you will soon find yourself in the midst of the ungodly. Look carefully at the Way Jesus conducted Himself while He was accused Falsely. Learn from Him. Learn to remain silent when treated falsely. It may seems very difficult but His Grace is sufficient for every need. May the Lord give us Grace to conduct ourselves like Jesus in the midst of Trials and Persecution(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.