Thursday, September 20, 2012

John 18 side trip to Mark with prayer request!

This morning I’m asking for prayer for my sweet sister, Jodi! As you know, she spent the summer going through a second round of stem cell transfusion and chemo due to the multiple myeloma. She and her husband Ed were supposed to arrive here next week for a visit, then go on to Northern California to visit with her son’s widow and her four grandchildren there. However, she left me a phone message saying she now has shingles!!! Please pray that our LORD will have mercy on her and heal her NOW! I’m just heartsick for her! She said in the message that she thinks it will only delay her by one day...Oh, Lord, please be close to her! Thank you for praying for her!

Before we move ahead in John, I wanted to take a small side trip to Mark’s account of Jesus’ appearance before the high priest and the Jewish leaders. There are some important details in here that shed light on their purpose in taking Jesus to Pontius Pilate.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.  Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 

Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:  “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’”  Yet even then their testimony did not agree. (Mark 14:55-59)

When evil men plot, God thwarts them! The Jewish leaders could find no evidence against him, because He was sinless! Liars breed nothing but confusion.

Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”  But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. 

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 

The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” 

They all condemned him as worthy of death.  Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him. (Mark 14:60-65)

When Jesus claimed that they would see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, this was a reference to a Messianic prophecy in Daniel 7:13-14.

 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." 

The Jewish leaders knew EXACTLY what Jesus was claiming here. Thus the charge of blasphemy, and the move to kill Him. Mark records the humiliation and the beatings Jesus received then before he was bound over to Pilate. Next week we’ll look at this next step toward the Cross.  

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