Lesson 84

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:60 The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?" 14:61 But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"

14:62 Jesus said, "I AM. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky."

14:63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, "What further need have we of witnesses? 14:64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" They all condemned him to be worthy of death. 14:65 Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, "Prophesy!" The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.  

Today's Lesson

The chief priests and the scribes had sent out a multitude into the deep of night and arrested Jesus on the Mount of Olives. They brought Him to the home of the High Priest of Israel and hurriedly proceeded to have a trial in the middle of the night. They hastily brought in witnesses in an attempt to bring a charge against Him that would give them some justification to kill Him. Finally the High Priest decided to take matters into his own hands and questions Jesus directly.


He began by asking Jesus if He had anything to say to respond to the witnesses that had gone before. Jesus refused to answer them and remained quiet. There was no need for Him to speak at this time because none of the witnesses had agreed with each other. They did not have enough evidence to properly bring a charge against Him. This trial was a complete sham. It is probable that they would have convicted Jesus no matter what happened. But, at least at this point in the interrogations, they did not have the justification to condemn Him.


Then the High Priest asked Jesus directly, "Are you the Christ?" And Jesus answered equally directly, "I AM." Jesus not only answered them affirmatively but He also evoked the Holy Name of God that was never to be spoken aloud. He told them they would see the Son of Man coming in power and glory from the sky.


This was, of course, precisely what the High Priest wanted. It provided an ideal justification to condemn Jesus under Jewish law. Jesus had taken upon Himself the Holy Name of God and applied it to Himself. He had directly claimed to be the Messiah. Everyone present began to yell at Jesus and to strike Him. They allowed their anger to come to the surface and dropped all pretense of a fair and equitable trial.


Jesus could have remained silent. He could have refused to participate in this mockery of a trial. The results might well have been the same, but Jesus did not choose silence. He gave them the answer that He knew would insure His condemnation. Jesus understood what the result of this farce must be. He knew that by the next day He would be hanging from a cross. Instead of doing everything that He could to avoid that result, He gave Himself into their hands willingly.


Do you have the courage to face what God demands of your life? Are you willing to stand up and be obedient even if that obedience leads to the complete loss of your freedom, perhaps even your life?


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