Martin Luther, the Deed of Worms, he knew they wanted to kill him, but he didn't know if they would succeed or not.
Well, they did not succeed. Christ knew what he was facing. He knew that they were going to do this to him, but again, not without his permission. John's Gospel, chapter 10, Jesus said, no one takes it from me. That is his life. I lay it down. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again.
That is just what he did. Please open to the Gospel according to Mark, chapter 14, verses 53 to 65. The Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, beginning in verse 53. And they led Jesus away to the high priest, and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders and the scribes.
But Peter followed at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest, and he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimonies did not agree. Then some rose up and bore false witness against him, saying, we heard him say, I'll destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But not even then did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, Do you answer nothing?
What is it? These men testify against you? But he kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, saying to him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? Jesus said, I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power and the coming with the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy.
What do you think? And they all condemned him to be deserving of death. Then some began to spit on him and to blindfold him and to beat him and to say to him, Prophesy. And the officers struck him with the palms of their hands.
I don't need much of an introduction. Verse 53, And they led Jesus away to the high priest, and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. Now he was arrested without charge.
I mean there was no charge against him. They came to him in the Garden of Gethsemane and they handcuffed him and took him away. He first was taken to Annas who was the high priest according to the people.
I'll comment on that in a moment. But John gives us a little bit more information in his Gospel, chapter 18. Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Caiaphas was actually the son-in-law of Annas. He was Rome's appointment to be the high priest in Israel. It was political.
Annas was considered the high priest by the people and the two got along very well. They were what we would say in cahoots with each other. So all of this was corrupt. They were corrupt men. They were greedy men.
Very political, very powerful, and very wealthy. They were united in their persecution of the Christ. Mark, like the other Gospel writers, does not give us a comprehensive account of the arrest and the trial. For that we have to take the four Gospels together and put them together. And we get so much more information that way.
God has designed it that way for good reason. Our Lord on this night suffered three trials from the Jews and three from the Gentiles. They were just shuffling him from trial to trial while inflicting physical harm on him at the same time. This will account for, physically speaking, why he was just dehydrated by the time he had to take up the cross to Calvary. Well first, as I mentioned, was his hearing with Annas who then sent him to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin.
That was the first hearing. And by morning time they will meet again, the Sanhedrin, with Caiaphas overseeing it and then they will deliver their final verdict. In between all this, there was the meeting with Pilate, and then, well after action, not in between, and then came the meeting with Herod, which was the most profound meeting of them all, at least in my opinion, because of all those who asked him questions, Herod was the only one that Jesus did not respond to.
He did not answer his questions. He is the only man in the Bible that Jesus Christ totally ignored, and I think that's quite profound. And then finally from Herod he would go back to Pilate for the final sentencing and then they would carry out the crucifixion. Verse 54, But Peter followed him at a distance right into the courtyard of the high priest, and he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire. Now my view of Peter and his reaction to the arrest and the trials of Christ differ with most, if not all, commentators on this.
I do not see Peter as a coward at all. I see him as frightened from time to time, but more confused, didn't know what to do. This was a man that was ready to pounce on the enemies of Christ, and Christ called him down. And after that, you know, what do you do? You want to obey the Lord, but you also want to defend him. You've already made this boast that you would never leave him.
You would be loyal to the end, and then you, as the prophet Zechariah said, they were all scattered, became an every man for themselves kind of a deal. And yet John and Peter connect again shortly after, and John gets Peter into the courtyard because it is very likely that these two men who were fishermen in business together had the high priest or someone there in the courtyard as their customers to sell them fish. That would explain why John has this access. Well, here is Peter at the private residence in the courtyard of the high priest, and this is around the temple. It's a cold night, and he's putting himself in harm's way still.
He's taking a risk by being there. We don't read of the other apostles. They're in a hideout mode at this time. But Peter just couldn't help being as near to his Lord as he could get. He's trying to work through this, and for those of you who have not been following us through this, and those who have, permit me to be redundant in saying this, but these men never saw Jesus fail. They never saw him back down. They just saw him do miracles, always in control. Now all of a sudden he's cuffed. He's in custody, and they're bewildered.
You know, we can understand it mentally, but to be there, how intense it was, because they weren't connecting the prophecies of the ancient prophets with what was going on, at least not yet. And so here he is. He's hanging around the servants of the Lord's enemies, because again, he can't help himself. So John, he gives us a little bit more information. But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciples, who was known to the high priest.
Pause there. You see that John's talking about himself. He was known to the high priest. The high priest is likely a customer of John in selling fish. Continuing on, he was known to the high priest. He went out and spoke to her, who kept the door, and brought Peter in. Now the servants, I'm in John's Gospel, chapter 18, now I'm in verse 18 of John 18. Now the servants and officers had made a fire of coal, stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves, and Peter stood with them and warmed himself. Now Simon stood and warmed himself, verse 25. So there's Peter in the courtyard, but out of John's account, there's this repeated phrase. Three times we get it. And I think it's intentional, of course, by the Holy Spirit to preserve this for us, to see it in the text.
And if you don't see it and it's pointed out, maybe you'll appreciate it, I hope. Verse 16 of John 18, Peter stood. And then verse 18, Peter stood. And verse 25, Peter stood.
It's not by mistake. Here's the man, he still stands with Christ, and he can do nothing at this point. He doesn't know what to do. He's hoping something will develop, but he has to be close to Jesus.
I think every believer can understand that. Not knowing what to do, incapable of rescuing his Lord, yet ready to act. If the Lord said, Peter, get them, it would have been instant without hesitation. No, he's no coward. He's confused in a very serious way. This sort of confusion, all confusion weakens us to some degree. This really, Peter didn't know, he was out of his element. He wasn't ready for anything like this.
We come to these situations from time to time in life, especially when we think we're going to be strong. And we find out we're far weaker than what we thought and had hoped to be, and that is part of where he is. In verse 55, now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but found none. Surprise, they couldn't find a reason to kill him. We know who these boys are.
This is abysmal wickedness. These men were supposed to be those who upheld righteousness and the law and truth. They have zero interest in any of that. They hate him so much.
Isaiah said he is despised, despised and rejected. They'll find something to charge him with. You know, that's what makes us nervous sometimes about policemen following you on the road. Like, get away from me. True story, one night I'm going home from church and my gas pedal gets a little stuck. So, it's cruising about, okay, nine, ten miles over the speed, maybe a little more.
I don't know, I don't bother looking, I trust my truck. Anyway, there's this car following me, and I change lanes, they change lanes. I speed up, they speed up. I slow down, I slow down. Finally, after about ten minutes of this almost, the blue lights come on. It's like, man, this guy's giving me the blues.
I can't believe it. So, I pull over and it's, you know, a state trooper. And, you know, you were speeding, you were doing this, and I'm not admitting to anything. Not that I'm, I mean, I'm cooperating. I said, well, I didn't know who you were. I changed lanes, you changed lanes. I'm saying, why are you following me? Now, I guess the trooper was saying, well, in court, that's going to look bad for me.
I'm not sure. But they let me, just gave me a warning. Okay, don't do it again. And I said, okay. The rule is you wait for them to leave first, because then they won't stay in front of you. They can't clock you. I'm kidding.
Anyway, I don't know why I'm telling this story. It has something to do with, oh, some, you know, they wanted to find a charge on him. And in time, one would surface. They were sure of this.
And, of course, you know, being followed by law enforcement, you get a little nervous because they might find a charge on you. Anyway, the Old Testament law, which these men were supposed to be dedicated to uphold, required at least two witnesses against the accused before they could condemn them to death. Well, they don't have the two witnesses. They don't have one witness. They're going to keep at it, aren't they? Are they not? In verse 56, it continues, for many bore false witness against him, but their testimonies did not agree.
Why? Why did they bear false witness against him? What did he do to any of these people? Human beings, so messed up by sin. It's, again, intentional for many bore witness, not just a couple, not a few, many, many liars eager to tell their lies at his expense. They had everything to gain favor with the court.
Who wouldn't want that? There are still many bearing false witness against Christ. Do you ever be around someone that thinks they know who Christ is and what he is about and they think they know the Bible's filled with contradictions and they're just ready to, you know, bear false witness against the truth?
It is, I have to admit, it is a great pleasure with satisfaction to shoot them down, but they often don't give you the chance. Well, not knowing what they were talking about did not stop them from talking about it, not caring what harm it would cause someone else. They didn't consider, hey, maybe this man has a mother that loves him or, you know, friends and here we are prosecuting him with lies. Proverbs, oh, Paul, before I read Proverbs, isn't it a little creepy that these righteous men knew where to find these guys? We'll read in the book of Acts that they did a similar thing against Paul, lewd men of the baser sort, says the King James, not these same men, but others wanting to stop the gospel found some thugs to come against Paul. Proverbs 14 verse 7, Go from the presence of a foolish man when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. Don't hang around these guys, they'll bring you down. I think it's a good question for every Christian to ask themselves, do I drain the environment of joy in Christ and truth?
When I show up, is it incoming, you know, incoming or am I a blessing? You know, some Christians just, I don't know what they think, but they just are always dragging their knuckles, always sad and making no effort to fight these things. We all have a reason to be sad, we all have reasons to drag our knuckles from time to time, but not drag others down with us. And just a reminder, because everything we're reading in Scripture is supposed to contribute to making us stronger servants of Jesus Christ. We're not reading about these guys simply because we don't like them, and making these comments, well, I'm making the comments, right?
I'm innocent. Because for the edification, that's what it's for, to build up the saints for the work of ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ. And so as we consider these characters, we have to say, Lord, may this contribute to me contributing to your glory. These men were lying witnesses, we are supposed to be honorable and truthful witnesses. So they lined up, they took their oaths before God, and then they took their shots with their fabricated testimonies against the one who healed their sick, against the one who gave sight to their blind, who cleansed their lepers, who fed the hungry multitudes, who preached the truth to them, that was life changing.
And yet, this is what they do. They come and they turn against him. Evil is energetic, it has a lot of energy, and it likes to spend that energy.
Where does it come from? Well, a lot of people don't believe there's a very real Satan that has the power to sway people. John tells us that, John says in his first letter at the end in chapter 5, the whole world is under the sway of the wicked one. And they don't even believe it, which he loves incidentally. But their testimonies did not agree, it says in verse 56. And Christ's rejectors still can't agree on why they reject him, though they are in agreement in their rejection. They felt that in the midst of corruption, these priests and these elders and these scribes and Pharisees, these religious officials, they felt that they should at least have an appearance of justice, which just makes the crime worse.
Why not just hire assassins? Why go to this kangaroo court? Because again, they wanted that appearance, it meant so much to them. They felt that the witnesses should at least agree on something, but they could not. They wanted someone to help them lie, even if it were with a diseased dignity. Again, the work of Satan is some serious stuff. And we who believe know it full well, and so we pray, we persevere, we look to be edified, we study to show ourselves approved workers who do not need to be ashamed.
What is that? You know, it's like, I didn't know what to say to the person. Well, because you aren't studying, is that the reason? Or is it just, you know, a moment that, you know, you just couldn't get it, the little spirit wasn't blessing you. And if it's, well, because I haven't been doing what I'm supposed to be doing, then we have a sense of shame. Not that it's a condemning shame, but because when the Lord points these things out, you know what, you should have had that one, he's not doing it to destroy us.
He's doing it to build us up, to make us say, yes Lord, that's not going to happen again. At least not easily. And that is what it takes to go against the gates of hell.
We've got our gates too, and we are supposed to prevail. Sometimes it doesn't seem like that, but it is that way. Anyway, there's no honor amongst thieves, incidentally. I don't know who came up with that, you know, honor amongst, there's no honor.
I mean, give me a break. They're up to no good all the time. And there's no honor amongst these men, because they are thieves. Jesus said, my house should be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. What is a den of thieves? It's where the thieves go to count their loot. That's what a den of thieves is. After they've ripped you off, and they scurry to their hideout to divvy up their loot. Well, dirty reasons to have a clear conscience, that's what's going on with these guys.
That's good enough for them, and that's why it is a kangaroo court. It is not just, and they're just hopping along doing damage to God the Son, verse 57. We don't lose sight, before I read verse 57, we don't lose sight that, you know, who was the one that crucified Jesus? Was it the Romans? Was it the Jews?
Was it me? Really, it was him in this sense. No one could crucify him without his permission.
And then you begin to peel the layers back to that, and that's why we love him so much. Anyway, verse 57, that's not the only reason why, but that is without that reason. Verse 57, then some rose up and bore a false witness against him saying, and a false witness is a polite way of saying, then some liars stood up. Verse 58, we heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. They heard no such thing.
They're lying, that's why Mark is telling us. John's Gospel, chapter 2, is where, what they're referencing. Jesus answered and said to him, what sign do you show to us since you do these things? Jesus answered and said to him, pardon me, the Jews first answered, now Jesus is answering, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Out of that, out of Jesus' comment, destroy this temple in three days, and I will raise it up, they get that he's going to destroy this temple, which is of course not what happened, and so we understand that. Verse 59, but not even then did their testimony agree. Well, once more there's never been a shortage of people who have had their facts jumbled up concerning the Christ. They're conflicted in their words, but unanimous in their hostility. They have the same disdain, disrespect for Christ. There the Lord stood, listening to this gibberish, how difficult it is to listen to somebody, you know, mouth-off lies and just gibberish, it's really difficult, is it not? Even unbelievers understand that. They go to a church and they hear a pastor preaching things from the scripture that they don't care for, they get up and leave. They're not going to listen to it sometimes.
Otherwise, they're doing pins and needles the whole time waiting for an earthquake or somebody to pull the fire alarm to get them out of there. The Lord knew that they wanted to kill him, and that they would kill him. He wasn't uncertain, you know, any human being in any court, you know, take historical figures such as Martin Luther, the Deed of Worms, he knew they wanted to kill him, but he didn't know if they would succeed or not.
Well, they did not succeed. Christ knew what he was facing. He knew that they were going to do this to him, but again, not without his permission. John's Gospel Chapter 10, Jesus said, no one takes it from me. That is his life. I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again.
That is just what he did. You either believe it or you do not. If you do not, you must ask yourself, have you investigated it?
Many people continue to reject Christ because they refuse to look into the evidence that maybe it might be true. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. You can search for Cross-Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the Book of Mark, just like here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-18 15:50:32 / 2023-07-18 15:59:49 / 9