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188 - Caiaphas’ Kangaroo Court

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
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March 23, 2024 1:00 pm

188 - Caiaphas’ Kangaroo Court

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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March 23, 2024 1:00 pm

Episode 188 - Caiaphas’ Kangaroo Court (23 Mar 2024) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?

Is there anything here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages. Welcome to More Than Ink. You know, many critics of the Bible and Jesus say that Jesus never really claimed himself to be the Son of God. You know, they must not have read this passage in Matthew 26 when Jesus so very clearly face to face with the high priest says, you said so.

And he was not misunderstood because that's why they sentenced him to death. We'll see it today on More Than Ink. Hey, that's right.

This is More Than Ink. I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And we are glad that you're with us as we are following through coming near the end of the book of Matthew. And now we're in Matthew 26. And we're coming up to the crucifixion.

So the narrative is kind of hard to read, but not hard to read, just emotionally. Well, it evokes, it evokes feelings in us every time we come to that. That's right. So that's where we are today. Last time, we were praying in the garden, as I recall. Yeah, and that passage ended with Jesus saying, you know, okay, let's get up, get going. My betrayer is at hand, like, here he comes. And so we're just in the middle of this very tense part of the narrative.

The action is going to move very fast from now on. It's the dark of night, they're in the Garden of Gethsemane. It's the end of a very long day, right? They're exhausted. That had been a busy day of ministry, and then a long evening of celebrating the Passover.

Then they were falling asleep in the garden. And Jesus said, No, stay awake. I want you to witness this, right, right. And this is his opportunity to get up and run. And he doesn't. And he doesn't.

He doesn't. And that's what brings us today. Jesus spots his, his betrayer and the ones coming with him from a distance and says, everyone get up, we got to go meet him. And that's where we are today in chapter 26 of Matthew, and we're starting in verse 47, if you want to follow with us. Okay, indicating that the action is pressing forward, the sentence begins while he was still speaking. So he had just said, Let's arise, let's be going, the betrayer's at hand.

He was still speaking. Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign saying, The one I will kiss is the man, seize him. And he came up to Jesus at once and said, Greetings, Rabbi, and he kissed him.

Jesus said to him, Friend, do what you came to do. Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, Put your sword back into its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, Have you come out against as a robber with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him and fled. They all left him and fled him. So here we have the rest of Jesus. And so, okay, so it just occurs to me, I never noticed this before. Then all the disciples left him and fled, presumably the disciples, the followers, the learners, Judas, right, right, who was still with the resting crowd. Oh, I see what you're saying. Because he called him, Matthew called him one of the twelve earlier, but he uses this different term, the disciples, later on.

I just had never thought about that before. Yeah, so Judas returns with the ones who paid him, basically, to betray Jesus. And if you remember the dynamic at the time, we're at Passover. There's a lot of people in town. The high priests, the religious leaders are very sensitive about causing a stir with the crowd. So they've got to make sure if they arrest Jesus, they do it in a way that's not going to cause an uprising. Because he's very popular, clearly, from when he came in town, when he came down the mountain of olives. So they've got to do it in such a way that's not overt. So they contracted with Judas to find a time and place that would be off to the side someplace.

Out of the way, after dark, everybody's tired and quiet. And they probably appealed to him and say, where does Jesus hang out when he's here for the Passover? And so here, Judas says, I'll take you right to where I know he is. And he's in the Garden of Gethsemane.

So he comes. And it's interesting to me that Matthew emphasizes, this Judas came one of the 12. Right. Jesus had said to them earlier in the evening, one of you will betray me.

And they didn't know who it was. But Matthew's emphasizing for us here, one of the 12. And then he calls him in verse 48, the betrayer. Yeah. Right. That's who he has become now. He's no longer one of the 12. He's the betrayer. Yeah.

Yeah. And we emphasize this often, but I'll just say it again, is the fact that you need to also look at the parallel gospels, the other three gospels, because they give you a little bit more information. Like for instance, John's gospel seems to fill in a lot of gaps where the other three are very consistent. Like for instance, there's that part where Jesus says, I am he, I am. And at that point, all the people who come to rest him, you know, do back and fall backwards onto the ground. You know, that's not here.

That would be somewhere, I don't know, around verse 48 or 49 right here. So it's just really good to fill in more observations from other viewers in terms of what's going on here. And you'll find some significant details.

Like for instance, now let's talk about the cutting off of this ear. Oh, but we have something important before then. I know, but I was going to use this as a trivial existence. Oh, okay. Because right here he says, he doesn't really name who it was, right?

Right. He says, one of those who were with Jesus, quote unquote. And well, John says, oh, it was Peter. It was Peter.

Yeah. It's interesting that John is the one to out Peter here. John outs Peter again. Because they were good friends and they were the closest ones to Jesus. Yeah, that's exactly right. And also it doesn't mention in the whole ear cutting off thing here that Jesus healed that ear. Right.

He picked it up off the ground and stuck it back on it. It's Luke that tells us that. And that's in Luke 22.

So that's why it's kind of interesting to read the other accounts because it fills that in. But let's go backwards. That was just my example. Man, I have some more I want to say about that. But we jumped over something else I want to talk about. Well, let's go back and do that then.

What else? Well, Judas apparently had arranged this sign, right? The kiss. Well, yes. And he says, the one I will kiss is the man sees him. Well, I'd never looked at that word before.

That word is the word phileo kiss, which means to share a common interest. Right, right. And it shows up twice, right? We're told ahead of time he arranged this sign, the one that I am doing the same thing with.

I am on the same page as he is. And then when he actually says it in verse 49. And it's linked together with this greetings rabbi. Well, the word there is kyro, grace, joyful greetings, rejoice. It's like a happy greeting.

Hey, I'm so glad to see you. It's like this is the height of hypocrisy, of betrayal, of still Judas is still pretending to be one of them. And rejoicing. Look, Lord, here we are.

Yeah. What is he doing? Yeah, I know the greetings rabbi is is just astonishing because the greetings isn't just Hey, how's it going? It's rejoicing. It's more like someone you haven't seen for a long time.

Hey, I'm glad to see you. And then this highly vaunted term, this rabbi, I mean, this is this is a really big deal. I mean, he's, he's either solidly behind what he's saying, because he believes Jesus to be ready to do something as he's not going to do, or he's just being a total hypocrite. Well, and that you just opened the door for an interesting discussion about Judas and that, you know, what was he expecting to happen at this point? And perhaps he was expecting Jesus to do exactly what he said later, I'd call the 12 legions of angels and force the hand of the Romans. Yeah, yeah, which is just this misunderstanding. Judas was a zealot, right?

He was a political party that was going to make things happen. Right, right. And so it's possible that that's what he's doing here.

Yeah, we're not setting that up. We don't know for sure. But but if he is that zealot who's excited about the fact that they're right on the verge of starting a kingdom, and Jesus is going to come in with force and do that. He could be sincere when he says greetings, Rabbi. Right.

So I mean, it's just really hard to say. Which just indicates how deceived he was about the nature of what Jesus came to do. Yeah, his expectations of this coming of Jesus were wrong. So Jesus's response to him also is very intriguing, because in verse 50, Jesus responds to him, friend, do what you came to do. Well, that word friend is a really interesting one. It's not the normal term for friend, which would be philosophy, which is somebody you're close and fond of, and who's who's on your same page, right? But this is a word you would use for somebody who's just an associate or an acquaintance perhaps. It's the word hetairos. It's only used in terms of a false friend in a couple of other places in the New Testament.

So Jesus is kind of calling him out, saying, you know, do what you came to do, because this is not what I came to do, except that it is what Jesus came to do, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that friend is not, that's not a warm term at all.

No, that's not, oh, my sweet friend whom I love, that's, hmm, friend in quotation marks. Exactly, exactly. Well, and then we lop off the ear of Malchus. Well, when they take hold of Jesus, Peter gets all excited and whacks off. And it's John who tells us that it's Malchus. Yeah, and John tells us it's Malchus, yeah. But all the Gospels tell us it's the servant of the high priest. Yeah, which raises a whole bunch of interesting speculation. Interesting thought for me, too.

Go ahead. Well, I mean, the one thing, whenever they mention the name of somebody, like Malchus is a name, the presumption is that that name would be recognized by maybe the earliest readers of these things. Maybe Malchus actually became a believer and was incorporated into the body of Christ.

Well, you would wonder that given that he was healed at this point in the story. Or the fact that Malchus was well known publicly as a servant of the high priest and so maybe a transformation in his life was something people, that the writers here wanted to point out. We're talking about Malchus, the dude Malchus, you know Malchus. But so much about these details about Malchus makes it, the bigger issue is the high priest. Can you imagine what the conversation with the high priest is when Malchus comes back to report because he was sent to see how things went down and he comes back. Did he ever report losing his ear?

I wonder. Yeah, and that's an interesting question. But what attracts my attention here is the ear. Because Jesus had said a lot in his ministry about if you have ears to hear, then hear, right? And the Old Testament was full of references to the spiritual leaders of Israel not hearing, right? Or the people with dull ears, so dull they can't hear.

And so I never had thought about this before. This is fresh for me coming to this passage that even though this is a real event, a real loss, a real healing, that there might be an echo of something greater here and that is a reference to the high priest and those who serve them being so deaf here in the face of the presence of the Son of God. They don't even hear it.

They don't see it. And that made me think of John 8 where Jesus is having this famous confrontation with the Pharisees when he says to them, my word has no place in you. You can't hear the words of God. You can't hear my word. You can't hear the words of God because your ears are not of God. You are not of God, right? So that just came freshly to mind with a fresh force while I was thinking about having the ear struck off, right?

Yeah, yeah. It's a fascinating little tidbit in the middle of this. And even to the end, here's Jesus healing people even while he's being arrested.

He's concerned. Well, he had told them earlier in the evening, if you've got a sword, bring it. And here he says, put your sword away because all who take the sword will perish by the sword. No, the kingdom is not brought in by human force. Right, right.

It's a false hope. However, people have asked, why is Peter carrying a sword? Well, because Jesus had told him, bring it.

Right. And there was occasion for self-defense. There was robbers. There was cutthroats.

I mean, it was a hazardous place. So a lot of people carried a sword just for self-protection. They didn't have a lot.

They had two. No, Peter clearly wasn't very good with it. But then Jesus goes on and when you're talking about the pointlessness of using the sword basically, but then he says, look, I can call down much more powerful things for my defense than your sword, Peter. I can call down 12 legions of angels. Did you know a legion is 6,000 troops? Yeah, so 12 legions is 72,000. Right. And in a legion, there's not only 6,000 foot soldiers, there's 700 horse soldiers.

So this is just an immense thing. So he says, Peter, do I need your sword? Not really, because I can call down legions of angels. But he says his point for not doing it is that the scriptures need to be fulfilled. And he says that twice.

He says it twice. And the fulfilling is the sacrifice of the Son of God to pay for our sin. So it's got to be fulfilled. You got to go according to the plan. And sorry, Peter, your sword is not part of the plan, nor is the 12 legions of angels.

And you know, as we press on this week and next week, we'll see exactly how much Peter was out of step with the plan. Well, yeah. Yeah.

But again, he's still responding from his gut. Yeah. Right. His first instinct.

Yeah, yeah. But at this point, when Jesus is captured, they all flee. They all run away. They all run away. They all run away. Because it's a show of force. This is a lot of people, and they're all armed.

And presumably many more than the number of the apostles or even the extended disciples, if there are more than just the apostles there. So they all run and they flee. Except that we find, as we read on, that Peter had tracked along, he knew where they were going and he shows up there later on. Right. Shall we read on?

Let's move on. So they immediately flee, but you know, Peter, maybe John, they're lurking in the background. Are you going to read?

I will. Verse 57. Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest.

And going inside, he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none. Though many false witnesses came forward, at last two came forward and said, this man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days. And the high priest stood up and said, have you no answer to make?

What is it that these men testify against you? But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, I adjure you by the living God.

Tell us if you are the Christ, the son of God. And Jesus said to him, you have said so, but I tell you from now on, you will see the son of man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven. And then the high priest tore his robes and said, he has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.

What is your judgment? And they answered, he deserves death. Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him saying, prophesy to us, you Christ, who is it that struck you?

Nasty scene in the high priest. By the way, there were actually two trials with the high priest and those gathered. There was one that was done at night, which is presumably half of this account.

And then there was a daylight one because it was illegal to actually do a trial at night. So they came together after sun was up in order to kind of finalize their decision. So it looks like that through the night they got these false witnesses that really didn't gain any traction for them against Jesus. But when they finally at sun up, we find this out from the other gospels, at sun up, ask him, are you the Messiah, the son of God? Then he says, yes. They say, okay, we've got him. There it is. It's blasphemy. It's daylight. We're ready to go. We can render judgment and it's legal.

And so this is where they are right here. Isn't it amazing that through all the false accusations, Jesus remained silent. And Peter picks that up in his letter when he says, he committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth. While being reviled, he did not revile in return. While suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously. That's First Peter 2, 22 and 23. Until the high priest, presumably God's representative, says to him, I adjure you by the living God.

Okay, so that's a pretty strong statement. That's a formal expression. I call you, I charge you under oath. Under oath, right.

By the name of the living God, tell us, are you the Christ, the son of God? And Jesus says, he kind of one ups the ante. He says, you've said so and I tell you, you're going to see what Daniel saw, right? Yeah, yeah.

It's pretty astonishing. Oh, he talks about the right hand of power. You'll see the son of man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven. Well, that's a reference to Daniel 7. It's also a very clear warning to them.

It is. And you're right, Jesus doesn't respond to the reviling. In fact, he doesn't respond to the mistruths. But when he's asked about the truth, he says, I'm going to lay it out for you and I'm not going to mince words. Right, he goes one up.

Right. I am indeed the Messiah. I'm the Christ. I'm the son of God. And oh, by the way, here's your warning. You're going to see the son of man at the right hand of power coming in the clouds. So here's your warning.

I mean, you either believe who I am or you're not and the consequences from a judgment perspective are going to be bad. Right. Yeah. So this is where he gives them his warning right here. And of course, they don't take that because they don't believe who he is.

They just kind of blow off. That judgment is what that Daniel 7 passage is about. Oh, it is. Yeah. Daniel 7 says, And I saw that one like a son of man coming and he came up to the ancient days and was presented before him and to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom and all the people's nations and men of every language might serve him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. Right. Well, the high priest surely knew that passage. He sure did. This is what they wished for. This is what they hoped for with the Messiah. And Jesus clearly was not doing that here. And so they're frustrated and they call them a false Messiah. He's blasphemous is what they say.

Yeah. In fact, this whole trial situation too, you know, we know from the other gospels that they went to Annas who is the father-in-law of Caiaphas. Annas was, we mentioned this once before, he was the high priest before Caiaphas. He was the one that was kind of pushed out by the Romans and so a lot of Jews considered his being pushed out of that position as being illegitimate. So he still held sway.

Kind of an emeritus kind of role. But he was there first and while he's with Annas he gets slapped. You know, it's really a bad scene. Then they put these guys together at Caiaphas' house. So this has been a long night of Jesus not saying anything until at daybreak they say, Let's get to it. Are you the Messiah? Well yeah, they finally ask him point blank to his face in the name of God.

Yeah, yeah. So this is serious stuff. And ironically they accuse him of all this false stuff but they sentence him to death for telling the truth. For telling the truth. For telling the truth. Because Jesus told the truth and they weren't willing to believe it, then they sentenced him to death. Yeah, yeah. It's been a whole evening of falsehoods about Jesus and here we finally get to the truth.

And for that he suffers for his life because of it. Well this is where we're going to leave the passage today. We'll come back next time and we'll look more closely at what happens that night. But at this point this is all that the leadership wanted to have happen. They arrested Jesus with the hopes of being able to legally charge him with something that could be punished by death. And since Jesus now has claimed to be the Son of God, which they don't believe, so that's proof enough for them, they've got what they've got. But at this point they can't kill Jesus because they're under constraint from Rome to not do capital punishment in the nation. So the next step of course is to go to Pilate and that will be next in our narrative.

That will be after the sun is a little higher in the sky. But what amazes me is the utter contempt with which they regard him. They spit in his face and struck him. Well I have had the experience in Israel of being spat toward by an Orthodox man who was passing me in the street.

It was not pleasant. But to be spat at in the face is like the utmost of contempt. And what restraint on Jesus' part. He's put up with all of this so far. He's put up with falsehood, hasn't defended himself, he's been spat at. He's even mocked as they cover his face so he can't see and they hit him and say if you're a prophet, prophesy and tell us who just hit you. You know that kind of mockery. And he puts up with all this. He's so determined to make his way to the cross.

He does not stop this process. Well and it says they slapped him. A slap is a very personal contact insult.

Yeah it is. The disdain they had for him. I mentioned this at church a little while ago but this is one of those deals where in the normal course of justice, which this is not. I call this a kangaroo court. In the normal course of justice what you do is you discover a crime and then you try and figure out the man who did it.

And that's the course of affairs. In this case they did exactly the opposite. They know the man they want to take down and now they spend the whole night trying to find a crime to pin against him. And the only crime they can pin against him is him telling the truth about his real identity.

That's what's amazing here. So this entire trial with leaders and stuff is all totally bogus. It's illegal.

I went through once and made a list. There's about half a dozen things they did wrong. They're just intent in their pride to take down Jesus.

Why? Because he's gathering a powerful crowd of people and they're jealous of that. Yeah and you say things that they did wrong. Well it was all wrong but specific overstepping against the law. And they of all people should have been concerned with obeying the law. They were the ones in charge of that. They were the leaders of the law. They were the ones that understood the law in fact. So yeah the fact that what they do is they say we need to do this legally. And so the last step in our account today we need to do this legally. We can't kill them although we'd like to.

We need to take them to Pilate and that's going to be the next step. Yeah. So I'm sitting here with Isaiah 53 open in front of me because I'm thinking just earlier in the evening Jesus had said it has to be this way so that the Scriptures are fulfilled. And a particular verse strikes me although you may have a different one in mind. I was thinking Isaiah 53 7 when Isaiah says he was oppressed and he was afflicted yet he did not open his mouth like a lamb that has led to the slaughter and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers.

So he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yeah so Jesus said this to Peter. This has got to unfold the way that it's predicted.

This has got to be this way. And who said it specifically? Isaiah. Isaiah 53.

He was silent before those who were oppressing him. And we'll continue to see his deliberate intent to move the process toward the cross. And we see way back in Mark 8 where he says this is why I was born. This is what it's all about.

That's what it's all about. Even when Peter made his acclamation about Jesus being the Christ the Son of the Living God. And then Jesus says well guess what I'm going to be arrested and killed.

Here's the whole picture. And Peter says over my dead body. Right. Which he's still saying at this point.

Which he's still saying. And Jesus rebukes him and says get thee behind me Satan because in his good intentions Peter is getting in the way of this plan which is unfolding before our eyes. And at that point Peter thinks he's on the same page as Jesus. He's kissing him, calling him Rabbi.

So oh my goodness. I think in the coming weeks we might talk about that comparison between Peter and Judas a little bit. But our time is gone. It's worth looking at because we have two similar things that they do against Jesus.

Two betrayals but two different results. Anyway so really come back to us as we continue this story and we see Jesus move toward the cross. I'm Jim.

And I'm Dorothy. And we're looking at the Gospel of Matthew and the life of Jesus here on More Than Ink. There are many more episodes of this broadcast to be found at our website morethanink.org. And while you are there take a moment to drop us a note.

Remember the Bible is God's love letter to you. Pick it up and read it for yourself and you will discover that the words printed there are indeed more than ink. I see wiggles. Excellent. This has been a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-23 14:13:49 / 2024-03-23 14:25:35 / 12

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