Jesus and the Council (Matthew 26:57-74) Commentary

The elders and priests had already assembled and were prepared for this judgment. Peter  followed because He loved Jesus, he had been following him for years. He distanced himself from Jesus;  this is an interesting change in the behavior of a man who was quick to draw his sword earlier to protect him, Peter was no warrior. He was a fisherman. His sword swing cut a servant’s ear. It was likely clumsy. It was certainly not aimed to kill. So while we can consider his action a bold one, it was a flash of adrenaline, a nervous defense, for which Jesus rebuked him, and told him not to interfere. While Peter may be afraid here, He is also obeying Jesus. Christ would suffer to spare Peter, and all of mankind. Peter sits in the courtyard to see the outcome, though Jesus had already prophesied about what was to happen, it was important for Peter to witness that he could testify to it.

The priests and council were looking for false evidence against Jesus, they were not even seeking truth, thought the Truth was before them. They sought lies, and false witnesses provided those. The work of these  false witnesses still exists today. Many are speaking lies of Jesus even now. There is a battle against him, though He has done  nothing to harm anyone, many still presecute him and his followers.  One witness states:  “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”  Yet this is not the quote of Jesus. John records Jesus as saying,  “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2:19). Jesus did not refer to the temple of God, but was speaking of his body, that He would rise from the dead, and that would prove his authority was from God. Yet they did not understand him then, and now it is  misquoted and  is brought to use against him. How often do enemies of Christ twist his words and attempt to slander Him?-  In our time, far too often.
 Jesus remained silent –against the false accusations He did not speak, and even the one regarding the temple was not law breaking. To what accusation was He to yield? Our Lord knew He was to be put to death- no defense, even a true one would sway them. Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.- This was a question concerning the truth of Christ, and therfore he broke his silence.

You have said so- I am the Christ, I am the Messiah, and from now you will witness my dominion, and the establishment of my kingdom.  That was all the council needed to hear, regardless that it was Truth!  Blasphemy is only the tool the used for putting Christ to death, it was not the reason. The reason was their envy, their hatred, their vanity, and their denial of the truth. Evil searches for safe havens to hide itself.

Jesus is subject to abuse and mockery, and would be delivered to death, by the hands of those He came to save.  Peter witnessed this, and certainly feared that He would be next, hence He denies he knows Jesus three times, as Jesus predicted. Jesus was his Lord, his teacher, and his friend, and here he denies He knows him.  The burden of his guilt caused him to weep bitterly. Are you prepared to admit you know Jesus?

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