Wednesday, March 19, 2008

John 18:19-24

Christ Before the High Priest
Gerrit van Honthorst
Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, "I've spoken openly in public. I've taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I've said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard." When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, "How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!" Jesus replied, "If I've said something wrong, prove it. But if I've spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?" Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas.
Is Jesus provoking the high priest - controlling the questions and steering the interrogation to where He wants it to go? Jesus knows who He is and what is before Him. He knows where He is going and could have avoided the beatings by remaining silent and compliant. Instead Jesus provokes, bringing to the surface the priest's blindness to what he so diligently and reverently says he studies, worships and abides by - the Holy Scriptures. What was written about the Christ in those Scriptures is happening in the priest's presence and still he doesn't see the Messiah. Christ provokes us so that our true selves come to light, so we see how much we are not like Him and need Him to be who we were created to be.

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