The Trial. . . What Jesus Doesn’t Say

Caiaphas said, “I command you by authority of the living God to say if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus was curt: “you yourself said it” (Matthew 26:63,64 THE MESSAGE).

In Your Bible: Matthew 26:63, 64; Mark:1-5; Luke 23:1-16; John 18:12-14 and 33, 34.

During the time of his trial before the high priest and governors, the words Jesus did not say, were as important as those he did! He’d spoken openly for years, why arrest him now? The words he now said dumbfounded the Jewish officials.

Before the High Priest

Several people were brought to give false testimony, but that failed to convince Caiaphas. The chief priest said, “I command you by authority of the living God to say if you are the Messaiah, the Son of God.” Jesus was curt: “You yourself said it. And that is not all. Soon you will see it for yourself: The Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One, arriving on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:63, 64 THE MESSAGE).

Before Pilot

Pilot asked Jesus, if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus replied, Is that your own question, or have others told you about me?” (John 18:33, 34 Eyewitness)

Jesus told the Jewish high priest little more than he told the Roman officials who had authority to kill him.

Application: Jesus did not argue the absurd case against him. He knew his time on earth would soon come to an end. This was the next step.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the witness of Jesus and his steadfast willingness to follow your path to the cross.

Question: If you were accused of a crime you didn’t commit, how would you respond to false accusations during your trial? What would you expect Jesus to say at his trial? What was his crime?

Gethsemane Part II

Jesus said, “Papa, Father, you can-can’t you?-get me out of this. Take my cup away from me. But please, not what I want-what do you want?” (Mark 14:36 THE MESSAGE) The MESSAGE:

Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:43
In Your Bible: Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:43

Jesus took all eleven disciples aside to pray with him. Yes, they failed to stay alert for him in his deep prayer and struggle over the difficult journey God had for him. Only Luke tells that God sent a messenger to encourage Jesus. At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face (Luke 22:43 THE MESSAGE).

Jesus’ Intimate Prayer

Mark shows the intimacy Jesus has with the Father with two key words. He said, “Papa, Father” in his appeal for the Father’s will to be done – not his own. The word may be more commonly heard as Abba, Aramaic for the word my father.

The Believers’ Intimate Position in Christ

The apostle Paul writes to the Romans and the Galatians about the importance of being able to say “Abba! Father!” He affirms it is the believers’ position with God. The translation “Papa” may resonate more with some who are familiar with that word. Jesus intimacy with the Father is something we can rely on. We too can have a powerful relationship with the Father through Jesus. If we can call God our Father (or Abba or Papa), everything becomes bearable.

Paul writes, You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy (Romans 8:15 The Voice Bible).

Paul also writes, Because you are now part of God’s family, He sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts; and the Spirit calls out, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6 The Voice Bible). These intimate words for Father make all the difference in believers’ position as they come to Papa with requests, praises, questions, and even just pondering the Word.

Application: At Gethsemane the sleepy disciples saw the agony Jesus endured in his appeal to the Father – they wrote about it! In Jesus prayer, we read the intimacy – Abba, Papa. The apostle Paul also shows every believer has available closeness to the Father.

Prayer: Father, thank you for allowing us, yes us, even us to call you with the intimacy as Jesus showed us to do.

Question: What difference could it make in your prayer life when you address God as “Papa” Father?

Jesus at Gethsemane Part I

Jesus’ time in Gethsemane is so important that I’ll devote two blogs to it.

They came to an area called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray” (Mark 14:32 THE MESSAGE).

THE MESSAGE: Mark 14:32-36
In Your Bible: Mark 14:32-36

After Jesus prayed for his disciples (John 17), he took them to Gethsemane. Now he would pray for himself with his Father. At this critical time he wanted human fellowship as well as God’s fellowship. Jesus prayed both for himself and for what God wanted. He knew the price he must pray to reconcile man’s sin and knew it would be physically awful.

Jesus Prayer and Man’s Physical Weakness

Jesus took three disciples aside with him to pray. These three had seen his glory at the Transfiguration and now would see his suffering. He told them, “I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here with me and keep vigil” (Mark 14:34 THE MESSAGE).

Jesus Prayed and Prayed and Prayed

  • Jesus prayed then stopped and returned to the disciples, but found them unable to stay awake. He chastened them.
  • He returned to pray, then went back again to the disciples to check on them and found them asleep again!
  • He returned to pray, returned to the disciples a third time and found them asleep!
  • Jesus chastened them, told them to get up and leave Gethsemane because his time had come.

Application: At Gethsemane, Jesus’ deep intimate prayer was interrupted by the disciples physical inability to stay alert and wait for him. Even to the point of shortening Jesus’ time in prayer. His chastening of them should be a notice for believers to be strong in prayer and not slumber in it!

Prayer: Father, we do need help in being steadfast in prayer. Please help us.

    Prayer -steadfast, unswerving, resolute, unfaltering, persistant, committed, dedicated, firm – in prayer.

Question: How do you feel about falling asleep when you pray? It is human to do so, but Jesus will help in overcoming our weaknesses. Can we ask for his help here?

Anointing of Jesus

Eyewitness: p. 187

Mathew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-11

Just before the feast of the Passover and Unleavened Bread, Mary demonstrated extravagant love, within a ritual, for a guest in a home. This act was remembered for centuries. Something similar happened earlier in Jesus’ ministry when he taught on forgiveness – see Luke 7:37-48.  But here, the teaching is different. It remains a question whether these are the same incidents.

More Than A Custom

 

The extent of what Mary* did was described best in the Gospel of John. She broke open a vial of precious oil and emptied the entire vial on Jesus’ head and feet.

IMG_0277Bible commentators** have much to say about this:

  • She broke the vial as a sign it all was to be used.
  • The entire vial was used, only for distinguished guests.
  • In the East, this was a sign of anointing a body, making it ready for the tomb.

Mary’s action provoked sharp criticism from the disciples. However, Jesus explained the symbolism of what Mary had done. He said, “I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed, this woman’s deeds will be remembered and told” (Mark 14:9 Eyewitness).

Love’s Extravagance

 

The criticism was mainly over the cost of this perfume and the amount used. It is said the value of it was great enough to feed over 5,000 people or nearly an entire years wages for a working man. This vial was the most precious thing Mary had. It also shows her concern for Jesus.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “Why are you criticizing the woman for doing a good thing for me?” (Mark 14:6 Eyewitness). He then explained that in this ritual of greeting she had expressed her love and tender attention. She anointed his body for burial ahead of time. Jesus then said: “I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed throughout the world, this woman’s deed deed will be remembered and told” (Mark 14:9 Eyewitness).

Application: The attention and angst given to the expense of the anointing oil was misguided. Jesus explained the purpose was a public demonstration of the preparation for his death and burial. Those present didn’t understand, but would soon.

Prayer: Father, thank you for illuminating things you ordained for Jesus we hardly can grasp. What a blessing this woman did for Jesus because she loved him.

Question: How often do we misunderstand customs to honor people? Do you think you would also have misunderstood the action taken by Mary? Can you grasp the enormity of love extended through this custom in greeting in the home?

*The Daily Bible Study Series, The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2, Revised Edition, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975, p. 329.

**The Daily Bible Study Series, The Gospel of Mark, Revised Edition, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975, pp. 325-327.

Photo: The Land & People Jesus Knew, J. Robert Teringo, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN, 1985, p. 212.