Jesus on Trial

It had been a rather stormy board meeting and some very harsh things had been said. One man-always highly respected and unusually wise in his judgments-had said nothing throughout the proceedings. Suddenly one of the leaders in the argument turned to him: “You have not said … More


The focus of this passage is when Jesus was asked by the high priest if He was truly the Son of God and He remained silent. After Jesus’ was arrested He was taken to the home of Annas, the former high priest who was the father-in-law of Caiphas who is now the high priest (v. 57) (John 18:13). From there he was taken, in the morning, to Caiphas’ house. The high priest hastily assembled the Sanhedrin, composed of the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes (Mark 14:53). They had already determined that He was guilty, but they wanted to go through the motion of a legal trial. Peter followed at a distance to see what was going to happen (v. 58).

Seeking a case against Jesus, the Sanhedrin had brought in many witnesses; but their testimony was false and inconsistent (v. 59) (Mark 14:56). At this point two men were summoned to come in as witnesses. Their testimony has an element of truth but was evilly motivated. These two witnesses testified that Jesus had claimed He would destroy the temple and in three days build another (vv, 60-61). However, these witnesses failed to provide substantial evidence either. Finally, in frustration the high priest tried to get Jesus to respond to these witnesses, hoping to trap Him with His own statements. Jesus just remained silent which was a fulfillment of (v, 62) (Isa. 53:7).

When Caiphas saw that these false charges were not proving anything he took another approach. He put Jesus under oath. He knew that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (John 10:30-33) so he asked him to affirm this (v. 63). As soon as Jesus said yes, the high priest tore his clothes as a sign of righteous honor and outrage and declared this blasphemy (vv. 64-65). He put the question of Jesus’ guilt to the Sanhedrin and got a unanimous decision that He deserved to die (vv. 66-68).


When, if ever, I have to defend myself it is so easy to want to tell people all that I know rather than not say anything and let my silence speak.

Matthew 26:57-68 (English Standard Version)

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