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Jesus before the Sanhedrin

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2021 12:01 am

Jesus before the Sanhedrin

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 6, 2021 12:01 am

While Jesus stood trial before the Sanhedrin, another trial was going on outside. To escape the accusations of a servant girl, Peter denied that he knew Christ at all. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his series in the gospel of Mark, urging us to stand openly for Christ, no matter the cost.

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Today I am Renewing Your Mind. Jesus is arrested and is standing before the Sanhedrin.

While this trial was going on upstairs. Another 1 Was Taking Pl. downstairs outside in the courtyard. All of the presiding officers in this trial were not the rulers of the Jews, not the nobles of the community, not the Sanhedrin but this trial was being conducted by a servant girl who had no status and no power and no authority. When Jesus was in the disciples scattered in fear, but one disciple follow Jesus and watch from a distance only to deny Christ to a servant girl might be quick to say cream on Peter for doing but we need to pause and reflect on the story and ask ourselves how we might react after all were living in a time when it's more more challenging to proclaim loyalty to Christ. Dr. RC Sproul is preaching today for Mark's gospel chapter 14 verse 53 says, and they led Jesus away to the high priest, and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders and the scribes, the person who was high priest at this time was Caiaphas who was the son-in-law of Annis and Annis was perhaps the most powerful Jew in the land and we know that Caiaphas reigned from 18 A.D. to 36 A.D. I was remarkable about this mention of being led away to the high priest, and to the assembly of the Sanhedrin, which was the ruling body of the Jews is that where they went was not to the customary meeting place of the Sanhedrin. Normally, the Sanhedrin was assembled at a place that was called the chamber of human stone, but this is the only time in recorded Jewish history that a trial was conducted at night, which was illegal and was conducted at the home of the high priest and so before we get to that.

Let's look at what Mark introduces here in the text when he says, but Peter followed him at a distance right into the courtyard of the high priest and he sat with the servants and warned himself at the fire over there's enough in those few words that I just read to you to warrant a full sermon and perhaps several sermons this little notation that Peter came back from his flight into the darkness and began to follow the proceedings as an observer, but Mark tells us that Peter followed Jesus at a distance. What is supposed he followed at a distance because Peter was trying to make sure that he kept a safe distance between himself and Jesus.

There are people all over the world. Dear friends who call themselves Christians today who call themselves followers of Jesus, but they follow him at a distance. The reason they follow him at a distance is in the first place because to follow Jesus closely in a fallen world is to invite persecution and in many times and in many places to invite death and that was what frightened Peter. He followed at a distance so he could save his own life and not be executed along with Christ. This is the same Peter who it just said moments before. I will follow you to the death, but he followed Jesus to Jesus death as an observer, but kept a safe distance. The other reason people like to keep a distance from themselves and from Jesus is because in a hostile culture in a secular culture there is ridicule and shame that is often heaped upon followers of Christ. The how would you know whether your following Jesus closely were following him at a safe distance. While there's one way you can find out.

Let me ask you this simple question to the people that you work with no mature Christian. The people that you play with no that you're a Christian, do your friends know that you are a Christian. I'm not asking whether you wear your Christianity on your sleeve and make a past of yourself to your friends and coworkers estimate a Muslim. I'm simply asking do they know where your allegiance is if they don't then perhaps you're keeping a safe distance from your Savior. When a case, what we're doing or not doing is not part of this text. This is a description of what Peter did on that occasion, he followed the distance right into the courtyard of the high priest now.

Again, we know from this part of the sentence that the trial was being held in the home of Caiaphas, and in all likelihood, in the second floor of his palatial villa which were surrounded by a courtyard where there were servants gathered there. Even at night and Peter joined this group of servants at the fire to keep himself warm to see not only want to be safe you want to be comfortable as he was following Jesus. Now the chief priests and all the Council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death on the force of this language here. The seeking of testimony was not that they were on a truth seeking mission.

They were not gathering the facts, they weren't interested in the fact what they were doing as the Greek implies here is that they were intentionally trying to find something that would convict Jesus of a capital offense. This was a witch aunt and only that they were willing to subordinate witnesses. They were not interested in finding evidence that would be exculpatory only that dirt that they could gather together were they interested in at this time. Not again. This meeting is not held in the normal place for the meeting of the Sanhedrin which would be much more open to the public and we remember that all of these proceedings were taking place under cover of darkness covertly less the people in Jerusalem awakened to what was going on and perhaps march in protest against it is are they secret Jesus away from the garden of Gethsemane.

They only go 6/10 of a mile from disseminate to the house of Caiaphas, and they hold the hearing at night which Jewish law forbade the hearings could only be held on the day and also the Jewish law prescribed that no trial could be held on either the Sabbath, a feast day or the eve of a Sabbath or a feast day and so that regulation was violated as well and again Jewish law required that if it were, in the case a capital case that was being tried, and if a criminal was convicted of a capital crime then the Sanhedrin would be responsible to meet the next day. Again, to confirm that judgment, because the Jewish law put a hedge around any attempts at kangaroo courts.

Any attempts of rash and sudden judgments in capital cases.

Also you know from the Old Testament law within a capital case. There had to be two eyewitnesses to the crime and those two eyewitnesses had to agree in their testimony for everything about this hearing goes in the face of Jewish law. They sought testimony against Jesus to put into death but found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimonies did not agree, then some rose up, these are members of the Sanhedrin.

These are members of the Jewish Council that have been consecrated and set apart to protect the law of God, just as our Supreme Court is to protect the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, they don't always do it, and neither did the Sanhedrin because while they were having Jesus on trial. They break the 10 Commandments by bearing false witness against the son of God, and not only did they themselves bear false witness against Jesus. They encouraged each other to do that know the word for witness in the Greek is the word Marta Rea from which we get the English word martyr and the reason why martyrs were called martyrs in the early church, which gave rise to the saying that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church is that because the martyrs day eloquently the finest testimony or witness to Jesus. They could give by dying for him in the arena and elsewhere they testified to the truth of Christ with their lives and hence were called martyrs. Those who gave testimony there's another word in the Greek that is used here in the text and it is the word pseudo-Marta Rea. You can guess what that means.

False witness lying witness, a witness that is counterfeit and this is what happened at this hearing for many bore false witness against him with their testimonies did not agree with some rose up in bore false witness against him, saying, we heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands within three days. I'll build another neighbor that I didn't even get that right not even then, that their testimony agree to. Finally, the high priest stands opening Jesus really rhetorical question, do you answer nothing. What is it that these men testify against you when you had to save yourself Jesus and we are told here that he kept silent and answered nothing. We can imagine the agitation of Caiaphas. When Jesus refused to answer his question. Speak up Jesus answer these charges what you have to say and fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 53 like a lamb who was led before the slaughter is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

And maybe that's why Jesus maintained silence at this point simply to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy, but I think he had something else in mind. He knew what these people were doing and he knew that whatever he said, no matter how accurate it was matter how sincere was the matter how truthful was that his words would be seized upon, they would be twisted they would be distorted and used against him. Better to let these false witnesses give their testimony and Jesus stay quiet then for him to say anything that they can use against at this point Caiaphas is beside himself and so he presses the issue again the high priest asked him, saying to him, are you the Christ the son of the blessed the word blessed their circumlocution is a Jewish protection from a misuse of the sacred name, but warily. What is being said it. Are you the Christ the son of God.Jesus speaks and he says I am a couple things about this before I read the rest of things Jesus said here. Notice that there were two questions Caiaphas raised about Jesus. Are you the Christ. Are you the son of God, not the same question known throughout the gospel of Mark. We've seen the messianic secret running time there was a discussion about Jesus being the Messiah. And Jesus would reveal that to his disciples, he would say don't tell anybody. Now there is no more need for secrecy so that when Caiaphas asked him are you the Christ. Are you the Messiah, Jesus says yes, I hear something a little bit. The I find interesting. It was not a capital offense in Israel. The claim to be the Messiah. Even if you are the Messiah need to be charged relying to be charged with the stirring up trouble you can be tried all kinds of thing was a capital offense. The colors of the Messiah that wasn't enough to bring a death penalty verdict. The second part of the question is getting more to the matter when he says, are you the son of the most pleasant. Are you the son of God Jesus as I am, and you will see the Son of Man. Remember, that's his favorite self designation, and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power another circumlocution sitting at the right hand of God and coming with the clouds of heaven, a clear reference to Daniel seven with everybody in that court was familiar with this description of a heavenly being who comes to the throne of the ancient of days, so yes I am the son of God on the Son of Man five come from heaven. I'm going back to heaven and the Son of Man is appointed to judge the heaven and the earth in a sense what Jesus is saying is, yes, I am the Son of Man, and this is not the last time that we will meet in the context of a trial.

I'll be back and I'll be back with all the authority of heaven and you will be judged by me. That was the clear implication when he says you will see the Son of Man at the right hand of God, and who return in clouds of glory. Now Caiaphas loses it. Now he rips his garments.

Now we find that in the Old Testament. Two occasions when somebody rips their garments is because they are overcome with profound grief and sorrow or if there overcome with rage and anger.

Caiaphas is furious.

He rips his garments and he said that you hear what he said you heard the blasphemy.

What we don't need any more witnesses you heard of yourselves what you think and I'll condemned him to be deserving of death is another little footnote here folks. Again, the Jewish law carefully defined what blasphemy was to be guilty of blasphemy.

You had to directly curse the name of God, Jesus and do that.

Jesus bless the name of God, but what they considered blasphemous was his identifying himself as the son of God, but even there the charge was without Jewish legal foundation, but they condemned him to be deserving of death, we look back to the 50th chapter of the book of Isaiah and in that chapter and verse five the Lord God has opened my ear and I was not rebellious nor did I turn away. I gave my back to those who struck me. I turned my back gave my back to those who were beating in my cheeks to those who plucked up my beard. I did not hide my face from shame and from spitting so he tries to spit in your face you going to cover yourself up, Jesus took following the prophetic utterance of the prophet Isaiah.

In describing what would happen centuries in the future with the servant of the Lord was beaten and he took it when they spit upon. Meanwhile Peter was below in the courtyard while this trial was going on upstairs. Another 1 Was Taking Pl. downstairs outside in the courtyard, the presiding officers in this trial were not the rulers of the Jews, not the nobles of the community, not the Sanhedrin but this trial was being conducted by a servant girl who had no status and no power and no authority. She saw Peter warming himself. She looked at him.

She said you were with Jesus of Nazareth, but he denied his saying I don't know I don't understand what you're talking about and he went out on the porch further away from Jesus and no sooner did he move to a greater position of safety running now from the servant girl.

The rooster crowed in the servant girl saw him again and began to say to those who were sending this is one of them. Look at him.

I know he was one of them and Peter denied it again and still the later those who stood by said to Peter again.

Surely you are one of them. Your Galilean and your speech shows it. Then he began to curse and swear, I do not know this man of whom you speak. The third time he punctuates his denial with cursing. No, we don't know one of two things. Perhaps both things took place here when Peter denies him the third time with cursing, he could've just been using crude file language saying don't you hear what I say blankety-blank.

I don't know the blankety-blank man never met the blankety-blank guy or some commentators suggest may be mixed in with that were so all the moats appealing to God saying I swear in the name of God. I don't know the man Jesus was convicted of blasphemy, and in all probability the one I was doing the blasphemy was done in the courtyard. Simon Peter second time the rooster crowed, Peter called to mind the word that Jesus is said to him before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times when he thought about it, he wept. Notice he doesn't say simply he wept it and weep friends until he thought he remembered what Jesus had said and he began to contemplate what he had actually done and then he was sick to tears. You know people don't really feel the force of guilt when there's people around them. Usually the weight of guilt is experienced by people when they put their heads on their pillow at night when all of the defensive gestures are removed on your left alone before God then the truths pierces your conscience breaks your heart's assignment who said I will die with you, Jesus, and they want you'll deny that you even know me three times nest with Peter did and that's what most people do when they try to follow Jesus at a distance and to be safe. Christian beloved, when that moment of truth comes for you that moment where you have to stand up and be counted when you have to identify yourself as one who belongs to Jesus. You remember that Jesus said if you will be ashamed of me before men, I will be ashamed of you before my father in heaven.

I can imagine anything more harassing than the stand in heaven and have Jesus am ashamed of this. That Jesus look at me and say shame on you. I pray that the grace of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit will keep you and keep me from ever doing that to chase a man. May God grant us the strength to stand strong in the day of persecution were glad you joined us for this boards the addition of Renewing Your Mind. I'm we web each week. We returned to Dr. RC Sproles verse by verse exposition of the gospel of Mark in the past few weeks have been leading up to Jesus trial and in the coming weeks will walk through the difficult passages containing his crucifixion. We study verse by verse, because we want to understand all of Scripture, including those sections that are more difficult to consider a resource offered today provide you with an opportunity to study Mark's gospel in depth on your own when you contact us today with a donation of any amount we will provide you with digital download of Dr. Sproles commentary on Mark could go online and in advance let me thank you for your generous donation before we go. Today I'd like to point you to another helpful resource from look at your ministries 24 seven breath that is streaming trustworthy biblical preaching and teaching along with Scripture reading and audiobooks. You can listen for free at any time when you go to ref net.FM or with Amazon Alexa you can also download the free ref net app on your Apple, android or Kindle fire devices next week Jesus trial will move from the Sanhedrin to pilots domain will examine pilots important question what is truth. I hope you'll join us next Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind

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