“I spoke nothing in secret”

I was eating my cereal this morning and had to push my bowl away and pull the Bible closer. And yes, I do sometimes eat and read at the same time. Anyway, I was a little behind in my Holy Week reading because I really got hung up in John Chapter 12, and then again in Chapter 13. You know, that “wait, I need to read that part again” stuff that happens. Today, though was a bit different. I skimmed through to Chapter 18 as I had breakfast and then I had to stop and focus. I love it when I read things I’ve probably read many, many times and suddenly they jump out and grab me.  I realize I am no theologian, and that the “new” things to me are old school to many, but I absolutely love it when I am given the gift of revelation in any form.

Simon Peter denying he was with Jesus is a familiar part of the Resurrection story. But I never “saw” that another disciple had gone in with Jesus, then went back out to get Peter. A sudden round of my own questions rose. Was it love, frustration, anger, confusion leading to that disciple seeking out Peter?  Familiar, too, how they stood around the fire because it was cold, but for some reason, it all came alive, and I could smell the smoke and feel the warmth in front of them and cold behind as Peter aligned himself with the officers and the slaves. He had made his choice.

Then this jumped at me: The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 

He asked about the disciples first? What did he ask? Surely by now, the whole area knew about the disciples. Did he ask Jesus where they were, why they didn’t stay close? Were they off somewhere preparing an uprising, was that what the priest was concerned about? Or was he mocking Jesus for the instability of His followers?

And then, the questioning about the teaching and the answer the priests received:  Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” 

I was awed by the strength, the simplicity, and the boldness of Jesus.  “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Of course! He didn’t need clandestine meetings to convince people to be on His side. He taught where rabbis taught, according to tradition, according to law. He taught where Jews gathered and everything, everything was in the open. And I absolutely love his question to the priests. “Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” Question the disciples, question the people in the synagogues, question the people in the temple. . .

Sometimes boldness comes with a cost. When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?”  Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?”  He didn’t back down. There was no need.  So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

In considering today’s love affair with superheroes, one look at these verses and I can’t help but chuckle because none of the manmade heroes can compare to this Man/God who declared “I have spoken openly to the world.” and continues to do so to all who will hear.

Just a few thoughts as the search continues.  Be blessed!

The full set of verses is below.

8:12-25 (NASB)
(Jesus before the Priests)
So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.

Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”  Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.

The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?”  Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.