John 18:19-24, 28-40

day 46
After his arrest Jesus was taken to the house of Annas for questioning.

(Annas was a former High Priest and the father-in-law of the current HP Caiaphas. The HP’s were appointed by Rome and the Annas family had a stronghold on the office – trading it around between Annas’ five sons. Caiaphas actually held the office the longest apparently because he “worked well” with the Roman governor, Pilate. The history on this reads like something from the Godfather!)

“The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” Basically, Jesus just points out He knows this whole thing is a ruse. This must have been infuriating to Annas because it was to his officer who hit Jesus.

Now this only gave Jesus more proof they were making all this up. Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” In this bullying situation, where tension is high, Jesus refuses to be bullied. He just calmly sticks to the order of things. (How do I react to the poking and prodding of the enemy? I’m afraid not always so steadily. I can be thrown off balance and being knocked around can be confusing. So, take a lesson from Jesus – stick to the truth that God has said about me and forget those other voices.)

Annas gives up and sends Jesus, bound, on to Caiaphas. “Bound” – right? What a pitiful attempt to be “large and in charge.” (Reminds me of Lazarus… when he stepped out of the tomb Jesus said, “Unbind him!” When Jesus takes you from death to life you aren’t bound any longer – you’re free! Amen and thank you very much. If the enemy thinks he can tie you up…well, that’s his own illusion… don’t play.)

In the early morning they take Jesus from Caiaphas and the assembly of elders on to the governor’s headquarters – to Pilate. It’s been a long night. The other gospels tell more about Jesus being questioned, mocked and beaten by the Jews who were holding Him. (It’s interesting that everything about the arrest and interrogation so far has broken every Jewish law about such proceedings (http://www.netbiblestudy.com/00_cartimages/illegaltrialofjesus.pdf) but the Jews don’t want to dirty themselves by entering Pilate’s place. Can you say Hypocrites?) Clearly they don’t want much of a fair trial by Pilate either – “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” and “it is not lawful for us to put anyone to death”. Both statements are a bit prejudicial!

Pilate does his own questioning and finds “no guilt in him”. He is ready to release Jesus. He doesn’t want to be mixed up in this but he doesn’t want to upset the working relationship with the HP and company. Then he hits upon the perfect out – Jesus could be the one released at Passover. Nice try. No cigar! The Jews had thrown out mercy and righteous judgment and opted for self-preservation a long while back.

(It is easy to look at everything the Jews did that was unfair, illegal and just plain selfish but isn’t that missing the point? Aren’t we being Peter and saying, “No, I won’t let that happen to you, Jesus?” God’s plan was that Jesus needed to die in order to be resurrected. It was a hard plan. A sad plan. A painful plan. But it was the perfect plan. Maybe things played out in order to highlight man’s depravity and separation from God’s ways.)

Jesus told Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Pretty much, I’m not fighting the Jews and I’m not fighting the Romans. “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate leaves the question hanging in the air, “What is truth?” Truth can be a bunch of things – the grass is green, there is a thing called gravity, 2+2 = 4 [that’s old math, but I think it’s still true 🙂 ] While Jesus can delineate and expand on anything He was not speaking about a generic kind of truth.

Jesus had a purpose and the purpose was to point man -Jew or Roman or American or Chinese – to THE Truth: everyone is separated from God until they will agree for Jesus to set them free.

About God?
For God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whoever would believe in Him would spend eternity with God.

About Me?
If the enemy thinks he can tie you up…well that’s his own illusion… don’t play.)

About the World?
Everyone is separated from God until they will agree for Jesus to set them free.

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