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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


9. Jesus Before the Religious Court (Luke 22:63-71)

LUKE 22:63-71
63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” 65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him. 66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. 69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” 71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

The evangelist Luke did not tell us all the details of the three trials of Jesus Christ before the religious authorities. The first one took place in the evening in the house of Annas, the former high priest (John 18:19-24). The second one took place at night before Caiaphas and the prominent people of the council (Matthew 26:59-68). And the third one took place in the morning before the whole council including all the members of the Sanhedrin. Luke concentrates on this last main meeting, which formally confirmed the sentence that was already passed (Matthew 27:1).

After the second meeting, the guards began to mock the bound Jesus. Caiaphas and all the representatives also mocked Jesus and struck him angrily. The guards smote his back with leather whips, and blasphemed against him, he who had known every word that proceeded from the mouth of man until that night. He had even foretold the rooster’s crow to alert the denying Peter. The soldiers tested this Omniscient One that he might prove that he was a prophet. They struck him repeatedly on his kind face. They were not aware that they had struck God himself repeatedly on his face. Christ said not one word, but suffered because of the aggression of men whom he loved and will always love even to the end. Knowing that the hour had not yet come to reveal all the harm and iniquities of men who obeyed the power of darkness as slaves, he prayed for those who cursed him.

Early in the morning, the members of the Jewish high council, composed of seventy members, were called by Caiaphas from Jerusalem and its surroundings to meet soon. Those members of the Sanhedrin included notable men of the powerful chief priests, theological experts, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, proud Pharisees, liberal Sadducees, representatives of all well-known families, and those highly regarded by the people. They all hurried to see and judge the popular Teacher, miraculous Physician, and Galilean countryman. The session did not begin with preliminary questions, but they opened their meeting immediately with the main complaint against Jesus, which Caiaphas clarified at night and Jesus confessed. They asked him, “Are you the expected Christ?” He stood before them, bound, beaten, whipped, spat on, helpless, powerless. He was a poor image. So they did not argue with him, for they did not consider him important, but were willing to hear his testimony immediately from his own mouth, that he was the Christ so that they might be able to pass their sentence against him as soon as possible.

But Jesus condemned their unbelief, and asked them to trust his words, knowing that the hearers did not seek the truth, but had already decided to destroy him, while they hypocritically pretended preservation of justice. Christ could easily ask them about their knowledge of the Scriptures, and prove from the Torah that he was the true Christ. But all that was of no avail to them, for they were determined to kill him, and not to release him.

Then Jesus got up, and pierced them with his eyes. He looked beyond their empty faces, beyond his death on the cross, at a more advanced point in heaven, where he saw his Father and the throne prepared for him at the right hand of his Father; and then he testified this holy truth before the representatives of Israel. All those present knew from the Book of Daniel (Chapter 13) that the name “the Son of Man” signifies the Son of God himself, to whom all authority had been given in heaven and on earth to practice judgment on everyone. Those scholars also knew what was mentioned in (Psalms 110:1) where the Lord says to the Lord: “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Jesus united those two verses in his defense as a complaint against his judges, and asked the representatives of his people for the last time to believe in him, worship to him, and submit themselves to him, lest his testimony should mean their condemnation and destruction.

The seventy representatives flamed up with rage against the countryman, bound before them, who dared to utter such words, but they controlled themselves, and asked him angrily and spitefully one cunning question to lead him to confess that he was the Son of God, that they might be able to condemn him: “Are you the Son of God?” The Jews usually did not use the word “God” in their conversation by way of respect to his majesty the Holy One, but they fabricated their question mentioning the name of God with specific and deceitful intentions, which if answered in the affirmative could have been interpreted as double blasphemy.

Christ looked at them, and gave them a decisive answer. As if he were saying to them, “I am telling the truth, but you do not believe in me. I said that I am the Son of God. This is true and beyond doubt from everlasting. My prerogative is that I became the Son of Man, and humbled myself to men’ level. Yes! I am the Son of God in the form of the Son of Man. God from God. Light from light. True God from true God, Begotten, not created, in one essence with the Father. The almighty is my Father. You are but mortals, submitting to another father, that is the cursed Satan.

Then the multitude flared up angrily. Now they were certain that he who stood before them was an insane deceitful blasphemer, and that their condemnation of him was the only way which would save them from God’s wrath. So they stopped all their questioning and witnessing, for the whole multitude had heard enough blasphemy from his own mouth: that God had a son. They were blind, hardhearted, and foolish, though they were considered the godliest and most cultured of the nation. They did not recognize Christ’s condemnation of them at all.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, you are true God from true God. We worship and thank you, for you became a true man from the Virgin Mary, and saved us by the truth of your love. We glorify you for your testimony before the council, and dedicate ourselves with thankfulness your sufferings. Forgive us where our sins offended you, sanctify us to follow you. Open the eyes of many that they may see you and your glory at the right hand of the Father.

QUESTION 136: What is the significance of Christ’s confession about himself before the Sanhedrin?


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