Lesson 83

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:54 Peter had followed him afar off, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. 14:55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none. 14:56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn't agree with each other. 14:57 Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying, 14:58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" 14:59 Even so, their testimony did not agree.  

Today's Lesson

Jesus had been betrayed by one of the Twelve on the Mount of Olives. They had sent a multitude out to arrest Him while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas Iscariot led them to the garden and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. After a brief altercation, Jesus went with them willingly. The disciples scattered, each going their own way.


Peter followed the crowd that led Jesus to the home of the Chief Priest. There, Jesus was put on trial. Under Mosaic Law a charge could be brought by the testimony of two witnesses. For example, if two people would testify that a man had stolen a loaf of bread, that man could be charged and tried with theft. This is the reason that Mark stresses in this section that even though they brought false witness against Jesus they could not find people who could agree with one another about what he had done.


Peter stayed out in the courtyard as they brought witnesses against Jesus. We are not told the specific charges that were being brought against Jesus. There is one bit of testimony that we are given about a reference that Jesus had made to the resurrection. People that had heard this statement thought that Jesus was saying that He would destroy the great Temple in Jerusalem. Many things that Jesus said could have been taken out of context and distorted like this.


The opposition to Jesus in Jerusalem had consolidated quickly. They were still very disorganized in what they were trying to accomplish. Even though they had brought in people to bear false witness against Jesus, they had not coordinated the testimony. They were in such a hurry to be done with Him, they failed at even railroading Him properly.


Evil is often completely disorganized. When people are led by greed and ambition they often pull in conflicting directions. The Spirit of God leads men into order and structure. The chaos of life is a symptom of our fallen world. Where God is, there is order.


Does the Spirit of God lead you in a direction of purpose and order? And, like Jesus, have you ever known the sting of someone bearing false witness against you?


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