Day 203: July 22, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 26:57, 59-68
57  Those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened...59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so they could put Him to death. 60 But they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can demolish God’s sanctuary and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 The high priest then stood up and said to Him, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath : tell us if You are the Messiah , the Son of God!” 64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven .” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Look, now you’ve heard the blasphemy! 66 What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spit in His face and beat Him; others slapped Him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who hit You?”

Mark 14:53, 55-65
53 They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes convened...55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they could find none. 56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, but the testimonies did not agree. 57 Some stood up and were giving false testimony against Him, stating, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will demolish this sanctuary made by human hands, and in three days I will build another not made by hands.’” 59 Yet their testimony did not agree even on this. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” 61 But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Messiah , the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus, “and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven .” 63 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. 65 Then some began to spit on Him, to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, saying, “Prophesy!” The temple police also took Him and slapped Him.

Luke 22:54a, 63-65
54 They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house...63 The men who were holding Jesus started mocking and beating Him. 64 After blindfolding Him, they kept asking, “Prophesy! Who hit You?” 65 And they were saying many other blasphemous things against Him.

John 18:24
24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”

“You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
—Matthew 26:63b-64

Under Oath
by Leigh Ann Swords, Member of Brentwood Baptist, The Church at Station Hill

“I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” It had come to this. 

For months, the Pharisees and teachers of the Law had been looking for a way to get rid of Jesus. They didn’t like Him. He’d turned their nicely boxed-in world upside down and they wanted things to just get back to their kind of normal. 

You see, the Pharisees loved the Law. They loved it so much it had become an idol to them. For many of them, following it had become more important than the conditions of their heart, something God had warned His people against for centuries.

They felt if they could just follow all of the rules, they could control their relationship with God and earn their way right into heaven. But then came Jesus, speaking as one who had authority and turning the Law on its head.

“You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’” Yep, commandment #7, a personal favorite. Got it.

“But I say to you, whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Whoops.

Jesus was messing everything up. People were following Him, listening to Him. And they suddenly weren’t quite as interested in what their old rabbi was saying, because he was simply repeating what his rabbi had said before him. Jesus spoke like He actually knew what God was thinking. Weird.

It wasn’t just that the Pharisees were power-hungry, although some certainly fit that description. Imagine believing something your entire life, clinging to it with everything you have. Suddenly a newcomer arrives on the scene and starts bringing everything you believe into question. Surely what they thought they knew to be true had to be protected.

First it was the Law. Then Jesus barged into the temple and literally turned things upside down. He was then overheard saying something about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days. Clearly the man was deranged and had to be taken care of before things really got complicated.

So the trial began. Jesus was arrested and brought before the high priest and the Sanhedrin, made up of chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law. They tried to come up with something to charge Jesus with, but no one could prove He actually broke the law. In fact, no one could prove He’d ever done anything wrong at all. Imagine their frustration!

Finally, when it became obvious that Jesus wasn’t going to be lawfully charged with anything, Caiaphas realized he was going to have to force Jesus to incriminate Himself. He knew Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, so he put Him under oath and said, “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” He knew Jesus would have to answer.

Answer, He did. 

“You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

When Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man, He was referring to one of the most well-known Messianic prophesies in the Old Testament. In Daniel 7:13-14, we get a glimpse into one of Daniel’s visions.

He wrote, “I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.”

Jesus chose His response carefully. He knew the Jewish leaders would understand He was claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God. He knew what their reaction would be, and He was ready and willing to face the consequences.

Jesus’ claim landed on the Jewish council like fire raining down from the skies. They tore their clothes and beat their breasts in utter disbelief at His blasphemy. But secretly, they were thrilled at His words. They finally had Him.

Reflection Questions

  1. Do you ever feel like a Pharisee, wishing Jesus would just look at all the good stuff you are doing for Him and stop poking around inside your heart?
  2. What claims does Jesus make that bother you? 
  3. If you were forced to sit with Jesus and look at all of your heart “stuff” with Him, what do you think He would want to talk about first?
  4. Are you willing to begin this conversation? Why or why not?

About the Author

Leigh Ann Swords

Leigh Ann has been a member of Brentwood Baptist since moving to the Nashville area in 1998. She has been a part of the Church at Station Hill from the time it was only a dream until now, serving on the missions and worship teams, as well as teaching Sunday school in the student ministry. She and her husband Jeff have three children, Brad, Bailey and Bryant. She is currently enrolled as a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and leads a weekly Bible study for women in her home. Her passions include missions, travel, biking and the word of God. She can be reached at leighann.swords@me.com.