As followers of Christ, we will face opposition and persecution for our faith. Like Jesus, we are called to remain faithful to God’s will and stand for the truth.
Matthew 26:57-68 - Power Games
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha. Today we will reflect on Matthew 26:57-68. I’ve ben splitting the narrative these past few days, but I can’t split this one so it’s going to be long. Listen.
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
The high priest and the Sanhedrin were supposed to be the religious leaders of the Jewish people, responsible for upholding the law and serving God. However, they had become corrupt and were more concerned with maintaining their power and influence than with seeking and following the truth. They were willing to use any means necessary, including false accusations and bribery, to ensure that Jesus was convicted and silenced.
In contrast, Jesus remained true to his mission, even in the face of intense opposition and persecution. He did not defend himself or try to manipulate the situation to his advantage. Instead, he stood firmly on the truth and remained faithful to God's will, even if it meant suffering and death.
This story reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we too will face opposition and persecution for our faith. We may be falsely accused, ridiculed, and even physically harmed for our beliefs. However, like Jesus, we are called to remain faithful to God's will and to stand firmly on the truth, even in the face of adversity.
Furthermore, this story also serves as a warning against the dangers of religious hypocrisy and corruption. We must always be vigilant and guard against the temptation to use our positions of power and influence for personal gain or to advance our own agendas. Instead, we must always seek to serve God and follow the example of Jesus, who embodied the perfect combination of love, righteousness, and truth.
May the Spirit be with you.