Luke 22:63-71 (ESV)
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
The conversation between Jesus and the council almost sounds like they’re speaking in code. The first statement from the council sounds reasonable. “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But Jesus’ response starts out like a non-answer. “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer.”
He’s right; if He told them the truth, they wouldn’t believe Him. They wouldn’t even understand Him. Alternatively, He could ask them (quiz them about what the scriptures say) and thus prove He’s the Christ.
Nah. They’d anticipate where He’s heading and not cooperate anyway.
Next Jesus blurts out something cryptic. “But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” What’s that all about? Notice that it’s in the third person. Is Jesus talking about Himself?
Yes, but it’s complicated. No matter; the council understands perfectly. So, they ask Him to confirm the implications of what He just said. “Are you the Son of God, then?”
Again, Jesus says something that doesn’t seem to make sense. “You say that I am.” This is a colloquialism similar to, “You said it.” Again, the council understands just fine. “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
We cannot emulate Jesus’ striking disinterest in self-preservation. He’s actually trying to get himself crucified.
But we can at least not make self-preservation our number one goal. This has been a hallmark of great Christians throughout the centuries. From Peter, to Paul, to Joan of Arc, to Martin Luther King Jr., great saints have consistently demonstrated that they value truth above life.
We should exude confidence when we talk about the gospel. Our society pressures us to cower from sharing our faith. Note: this isn’t about a single upcoming conversation; it’s about a change in attitude.
Ask the Lord to give you that peaceful confidence that comes from knowing something and knowing that it’s true.
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