Produce The Evidence


“Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. ‘I have spoken openly to the world,’ Jesus replied. ‘I always taught in the synagogues or the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.’

“When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped Him in the face. ‘Is this the way you answer the high priest?’ he demanded.

“‘If I said something wrong,’ Jesus replied, ‘testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?’ Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” John 18:19-24 NIV.

Annas and Jesus faced off in a pre-trial confrontation. Annas probed to find out Jesus’ hidden agenda; Jesus probed to find out whether the religious hierarchy had any intention of giving Him a fair trial. Annas tried to get Jesus to incriminate Himself. Jesus worked on Annas’ conscience to see whether he would allow the many witnesses to testify to the truth of His teaching. Annas was in league with the Jewish religious hierarchy to get rid of Jesus. Jesus wanted Annas to honour the truth.

As a rabbi, Jesus was familiar with the Torah. He understood how a fair trial was to be conducted. Would He be given His right to a fair trial as the accused, under the Jewish judicial system?

“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Deuteronomy 19:15 NIV.

False testimony was banned. “The convicted false witness would suffer the punishment inflicted on the accused.” In criminal cases, both witnesses must have witnessed the whole event; “any person able to testify who has seen or learned of the matter who does not come forward to testify is liable for punishment.” (Levicus5:1) (1).

Why did the official slap Jesus in the face? Did Jesus say anything impolite or offensive to Annas?

“Since Jesus is still bound, there is no way for Him to defend Himself…This blow is more an insult than it was physically damaging. It highlights Jesus’ dignity and boldness as well as His respect for the truth, rather than for mere office holders. His reply to the servant stresses this issue of truth: “If I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” …In essence, Jesus’ question is a final act of grace extended toward a representative of His opponents. But Annas does not accept the offer to consider the truth of Jesus. Instead he sends Jesus, still bound, to Caiaphas.” (2)



Throughout His public ministry Jesus was more concerned about the truth than He was about offending people, sometimes causing His disciples anxiety when He offended the religious leaders. Truth will be the criterion for the final judgment of the nations when the books are opened.

In spite of the grace Jesus extended to him. Annas was too preoccupied with the threat that Jesus posed to his position and that of his fellow religious leaders to realise what a precarious situation he had placed himself in. He chose to sell out truth for power and the lucrative benefits of his connection to Rome to consider his own future

What would we have done in a similar situation?

Categories: Bible Study Tags: , , , ,

Luella Campbell

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