Trial Before Annas

In his book I Surrender, Patrick Morley writes that the church’s integrity problem is in the misconception “that we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin. It is a change in belief without a change in behavior.” He goes on to say, “It is revival without … More

Repentance
It is evident that two of Jesus’ disciples had followed the Lord and His enemies across the Kidron Valley into the city of Jerusalem and into the courtyard of the High Priest. One of these  disciples was Simon Peter and the other one is unknown. Many think it was John (v. 15). It has been suggested that John’s father was in the salt fish business and that he actually supplied fish to the household of  the High Priest. If this is true, John would have been known to the High Priest and his servants. Peter stayed near the gate and denied that he know Jesus (vv. 16-18).

Annas had served as high priest but was thrown out of office by the Romans and now his son-in-law Caiaphas was the high priest. This means that the trial before Annas was illegal and it proved to be very brutal. Annas was looking for something for which to convict Jesus. He questioned Him as to His doctrine (v. 19). Jesus responded that He had nothing to hide and that He had taught publicly in the synagogues and in public places (v. 20). Jesus refused to be a witness against Himself and instead He asked Annas to produce witnesses who could testify as to His teaching (v. 21). Jewish law demanded that witnesses be called before a prisoner was questioned. Annas defied this law, which made the trial illegal. While Jesus was still tied up one of the Temple police struck him (vv. 22-23). Since Annas could  prove no wrong in Jesus, He sent him to Caiaphas (v. 24).

It was only a short time until Peter denied his Lord three times (vv. 25-27). The big difference between Peter and Judas was that Peter wept over his sins and repented, while Judas admitted his sins but never really repented. Judas expressed remorse, not repentance. It was the difference between godly sorrow that leads to repentance, and the sorrow of the world that leads to death.

Application

Can I think of some times when it was very difficult for me to admit that I was a Christian? I want to be more bold for the Lord in my witness. I know that this will only happen as I allow Him to live in me and through me.

John 18:15-27 (English Standard Version)

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, "You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?" Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, "You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

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