John 18:19-24

Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said." When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded. "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

In this passage, we see Jesus being interrogated by Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. It's an informal questioning, before the official trial before the Sanhedrin.

Annas questions Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. He's looking for evidence to use against Jesus, trying to find something incriminating in his words or actions.

But Jesus responds with transparency and integrity. He says that he has always spoken openly, teaching in public places like synagogues and the temple. He has nothing to hide. His message has been consistent and clear.

Jesus even challenges the fairness of this interrogation. If Annas wants to know what Jesus has taught, he should ask those who have heard him. Jesus is not afraid of his words being examined, because he has spoken the truth.

This bold response provokes a violent reaction from one of the officials. He slaps Jesus in the face, rebuking him for the way he answers the high priest.

But again, Jesus responds with calm reason. If he has said something wrong, the official should point it out. If not, why the violence?

This exchange reveals the injustice and hostility that Jesus is facing. He is not being given a fair hearing. His opponents are not interested in truth, but in finding a way to condemn him.

After this, Annas sends Jesus, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest. The trial is moving forward, but the outcome seems predetermined. The religious leaders are bent on Jesus' destruction.

As we reflect on this passage, we see the courage and integrity of Christ. Even in the face of unjust treatment and physical abuse, he remains committed to truth. He does not compromise his message or his mission.

We also see a challenge to our own commitment to truth. Are we willing to speak openly about our faith, even when it's unpopular or risky? Do we have the courage to stand for what is right, even in the face of opposition?

May we, like Jesus, be courageous in our witness, gracious in our response, and confident in the truth of the gospel.

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 18:15-18 John 18:25-27 »
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