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Daily Reading: 16th December 2015

Wednesday 16th December 2015

Please Pray for: Martin & Laura Weston

John 18.19-21

19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching. 

20 Jesus replied to him: “I have spoken openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews come together, and I spoke nothing in secret. 

21 Why do you question Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them, since they know what things I said. 

As we read these verses it may appear that there is some confusion as to where this interview takes place. In verse 13 John records that Jesus was firstly brought before Annas.

In verse 17 it would appear as though Caiaphas is the one conducting the interview of Jesus, since the high priest is referred to. However, later on we read that Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas, which means that Annas must have still been questioning Jesus. He is referred to as the high priest because he had held that office on a number of occasions. This is similar to former presidents of the USA are still called president, although they no longer hold that office.

The objective of the interview was to discover some breaking of the law that Jesus and His disciples had done.

Therefore, Annas, the former high priest, asks Jesus about His disciples. Annas may have been referring to the twelve (now eleven), or he may have been referring to the wider band of followers who had gathered around Jesus, particularly in the previous days since His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Annas would have wanted to know what the intentions were of the disciples, what Jesus had been teaching them. He may have wanted to see if Jesus had incited them to some kind of civil disobedience against both the Jewish and Roman authorities.

The Jewish rulers had previously tried to catch Jesus saying or doing something contrary to the Law:

And watching carefully they sent spies who were pretending to be sincere (righteous), so that they might trap Him by His word, so they could deliver Him to the rule and authority of the governor – Luke 20.20. On that occasion their question was about paying taxes to Caesar.

In the last days we know that part of the tribulation will be that some of the followers of Jesus will also be brought before courts in attempts to discredit them so that they can be condemned. Jesus gives this assurance:

[11] “And when they arrest you and lead you away, do not be anxious beforehand what to say, but speak whatever is given you at that time, for you will not be speaking but the Holy Spirit” – Mark 13.11.

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