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The Scriptorium


For being the Son of God. Luke 22.66-71

Luke 22 (2) (6)

Pray Psalm 2.1-3.
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

Sing Psalm 2.1-3.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Why do the nations vainly rage, conspiring together from age to age?
Earth’s kings and all of their counselors stand against the Lord and His Right Hand:

“Now let us cast His yoke below, His Kingdom authority overthrow!
Throw off His Law, reject His Word; no more be governed by this Lord!”

Read Luke 22.1-71; meditate on verses 66-71.


1. What did the council insist?

2. How did Jesus respond?

By now, we recall, Jesus has been severely beaten and mocked. Perhaps the council thought He might capitulate to such brutality and admit He was a fraud. Which, of course, He would never do.

But He took the opportunity of their question (v. 67) to expose their hypocrisy. They didn’t really want to know the answer to their question, and they weren’t open to any questions from Him (vv. 67, 68). He knew they had already made up their mind to condemn Him. He wanted them to have to face up to this injustice as well.

Jesus would have the last word (v. 69): “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” Matthew adds, “and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26.64). They would not believe or submit to Jesus now, but a time was coming, and still is, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2.5-11).

The council recognized the apocalyptic language of Jesus’ statement and put the issue directly before Him: “Are You then the Son of God?” (v. 70) The NKJV adds the word rightly to Jesus’ answer, and they are right in doing so. The literal Greek says only, “You say that I am.” This exactly parallels Jesus’ response to Judas when he asked whether he were the one who would betray Him (Matt. 26.25). To put Jesus’ response here more colloquially, we would say, “You said it” or “You got that right”. He was explicitly and unequivocally owning the claim He had made all along, that He is the Son of God.

And the criminals in the council understood Him clearly. In their minds, this claiming to be God (cf. Jn. 10.33) would have been enough to destroy Him. Pilate, however, would need a bit more—albeit equally self-serving—convincing.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
This gang of the grotesque, these elders, chief priests, and scribes, were on a witch hunt and would not stop.
They would not stop until this threat to their power, and this One Who spoke openly of their shortcomings and sins, was done away with.

But surely, they knew deep down, as all people do, that this Jesus is the Great I AM (Rom. 2.18-25).

Since God’s Words never return void (Is. 55.11), these men all knew the phrase “I AM” from their much head knowledge.

They knew this discourse between Moses and God: “When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Ex. 3.13, 14).

And certainly, this was familiar:
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
‘I AM the First and I AM the Last; besides Me there is no God’” (Is. 44.6).

And they were well-versed in the prophecies regarding the Messiah’s birth.

So, for Jesus to answer in the affirmative with: “You rightly say that I AM” (Lk. 22.70) had to ring a few alarms, which they, no doubt, quickly tamped down. But Jesus laid it all back on them. “You’re right!” “Good job!” “Perfect answer!” Ah, Jesus. Even after no sleep and being tormented and abused all night, He answered wisely and lovingly. He may’ve even hoped one of them, like the thief on the cross, might come to their senses and repent. It is never too late.

He, by His careful reasoning and loving demeanor, was proving the truth of His words to us: “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matt. 10.19, 20).

And when the Spirit of God convicts us of sin, like He did that gang of men, we must not be hard-hearted as they. We must hear what I AM says to us, repent, be restored, and get on with following Jesus into our Personal Mission Field.

Because Jesus says to us, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn. 8.58).
“I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (Jn. 11.25).
“I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14.6).

And we respond to I AM, not like the hateful gang, but like Peter, who said:
“Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6.68).

For reflection
1. Why do you think Jesus took this opportunity, once again, to expose the hypocrisy of the religious leaders?

2. Why is it important that we wait in prayer on Jesus to show us any sins in our life?

3. Jesus, the great I AM, alone has the words of life. Whom will you encourage with some of those words today?

He referred them to his second coming, for the full proof of his being the Christ, to their confusion, since they would not admit the proof of it to their conviction. He owns himself to be the Son of God, though he knew he should suffer for it. Upon this they ground his condemnation.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 22.63-71

Pray Psalm 2.4-13.
Give thanks and praise to God for Jesus Christ, our King. Pray for the coming of His Kingdom in and through your life today.

Sing Psalm 2.4-12.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
The Lord in heaven laughs in wrath at all who embark on this cursèd path.
His angry Word to them is plain: “Yet shall My King in Zion reign!”

Proclaim the message far and wide, that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son, Who has for us salvation won!

To Christ the Lord be given all who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes to break the prideful, sinful ones.

Rejoice with fear in Jesus’ grace, and worship before His exalted face!
Beware His anger and judgment grim. How blessed are all who rest in Him!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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