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THE SAYINGS OF THE CRUCIFIXION (9)
Jesus before Caiaphas
Matthew 26:57-67; Mark 14:53-60; Luke 22:54-65
Victor M. Eskew
A. In our last lesson, we saw Jesus as He stood before Annas the high priest.
B. Annas quickly dispatched Jesus to stand before his son-in-law, the reigning high priest Caiaphas.
1. Caiaphas was the high priest from 18 A.D. until 36 A.D. His long period of service shows that he had a good relationship with the Roman authorities.
2. Most of the high priests were Sadducees. Thus, they were from the aristocracy, the wealthy Jews of the day.
C. Remember, Jesus had been arrested at night.
1. His appearance before Annas took place a night.
2. Luke tells us that Jesus’ appearance before Caiaphas did not happen until it was day (Luke 22:66).
And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their counsel…
D. Several words were spoken during this trial. Let’s look at them in this lesson.
I. THE MOCKING OF JESUS: Who Hit You? (Luke 22:63-64)
A. Some time passed between these two trials.
B. Some of the men who held Jesus passed the time mocking Him (Luke 22:63).
And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
C. The taunting of our Lord grew worse when they blindfolded Him (Luke 22:64).
And when they had blindfolded him, they stroke him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who it is that smote thee?
1. First, we learn that anger and hatred of others often manifests itself in violence.
a. Jesus had already been smitten by an officer of the Jews (John 18:22).
b. Now others were smiting the Lord on His face.
c. LESSON: Evil does not care about the pain of others. In fact, evil enjoys inflicting pain on her adversaries.
2. Second, these individuals asked Jesus to “prophesy” who had hit Him.
a. If a person could prophesy, he could uncover things that were not known.
b. They had no clue as to whom they were asking this question.
1) He could have easily answered their question and exposed their sins, but He chose to be quiet and patiently endure.
2) Jesus was God’s prophet, like unto Moses (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22).
D. Luke 22:65 states: “And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.”
1. Once evil is unleashed, it continues to pour forth its hatred.
2. The only thing that will stop it is the complete destruction of the enemy.
E. NOTE: In Matthew and Mark’s account, this incident appears to happen at the end of the Jesus appearance before Caiaphas (Matt. 26:67-68; Mark 14:65).
II. THE FALSE WITNESSES: Destroy the Temple (Matt. 26:57-61; Mark 14:55-59)
A. Jesus was brought before Caiaphas with no charges against Him.
1. Thus, they sought for false witnesses to testify against Him.
a. The Bible says that they found many (Mark 14:56).
b. They needed at least two to agree together (Deut. 17:6; 19:15).
c. However, their witness did not agree together.
d. These men were willing to use something against our Lord that the law says God hates, “a false witness that speaketh lies” (Prov. 6:19).
e. LESSON: It is my hope that we never:
1) Bear false witness against another.
2) Rely on the words of false witnesses against anyone.
2. What is telling is their intent (Mark 14:55).
And the chief priests and all the council sought for witnesses against Jesus to put him to death…
a. These men did not want justice.
b. They only wanted to see Jesus dead.
c. Truth, facts, law, and equity meant nothing to them.
B. Two were found! (?)
1. Matthew 26:60b-61
…At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
a. Mark adds something to the record in his gospel at this point (Mark 14:59).
But neither so did their witness agree together.
1) The testimony of the witnesses did not agree and should have been immediately discredited.
2) The testimony of the witnesses was false. Therefore, the testimony should have been disregarded. If a hundred witnesses come forward and all have the same message, but the message is a lie, the testimony is bogus.
b. Some might object, saying: But, Jesus did make such a statement.
2. The real meaning of Jesus’ statement.
a. A statement was made by Jesus when His authority was questioned by the Jews after He had cleansed the temple (John 2:15-18).
b. Jesus answered them with these words (John 2:19).
…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
c. The Jews misunderstood Jesus when the words were originally spoken.
1) They thought He had reference to Herod’s temple.
2) However, He spoke of the temple of His body (John 2:21).
But he spake of the temple of his body.
3) Those words were now being used against Him in this court of “law.”
3. Four lessons:
a. LESSON #1: When we are discussing subjects, it is imperative that we first accurately define our terms.
1) We may use the same words, but have different definitions. In such cases, there will not be accurate understanding by either party.
2) Example: The Mormon view of God. If you ask a Mormon: “Is God deity?” He will answer: “Yes.” But, his definition of deity does not include the quality of being eternal.
b. LESSON #2: Our enemies are listening to every word we say and will log them for use at a later time. Jesus had spoken these words some three years prior to their being used against Him.
c. LESSON #3: There have been times when false testimony has been used to convict an innocent person.
d. LESSON #4: God will one day judge the earth. He will sift through all of the injustice in the world. His judgments will be right and according to truth (Deut. 32:4).
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
III. CAIAPHAS CONFRONTS JESUS: About His Silence (Matt. 26:62; Mark 16:60)
A. Jesus said nothing about the words spoken by the false witnesses.
1. Why should He? Their testimony did not agree.
2. The high priest should have immediately cast out their testimony.
B. Caiaphas was frustrated by Jesus’ silence. Thus, he confronted Him (Matt. 26:62).
And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee?
1. The design of the witness was to get Jesus to speak.
a. It was hoped that He might incriminate Himself in the process.
b. Thus, they would have His own words to use against Him.
2. When Jesus said nothing, the high priest tried to get Jesus to speak. Basically, he asked: “Why do these witnesses say these things? What do you have to say about what has been said?”
3. In Ecclesiastes 3:7, Solomon wrote: There is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” Jesus was the master at knowing when to do both. Now, it was a time to keep silent (NOTE: Matthew. 26:63).
But Jesus held his peace.
C. Jesus’ actions on this occasion were the fulfillment of prophecy as well (Isa. 53:7).
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep dumb before her shearers is dumb. So he opened not his mouth.
A. In the midst of a kangaroo court, and false accusations, our Lord remained calm, cool, and collected.
B. Note a statement made by Caiaphas before this trial ever took place (John 18:14).
…that is was expedient that one man should die for the people.
C. Peter mentioned the actions of Jesus at this time in his first epistle (I Pet. 2:23a).
Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not…
D. Jesus knew this trial was a mockery of justice. Thus, He placed Himself in the care of God (I Pet. 2:23b).
….but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
E. This trial before Caiaphas is not over. A very important question is about to be asked by Caiaphas. Jesus will not remain silent. He will answer the question forthrightly. The reaction will be that of elation on the part of the Jewish leaders.