Jesus is the Son of Man
Jesus First Trial
All right, if you would, please turn with me in your Bibles to Luke chapter 22.
So previously in Luke chapter 22! So, we have seen Jesus be arrested and brought into custody in the middle of the night by the temple guards and Roman soldiers and brought to the home of the chief priests.
In an inexact correlation, the chief priest is kind of like the Chief Justice, the main leader of the Supreme Court and the Chief priest being the main leader of the Sanhedrin, the council and court of the Jewish people in the temple.
Last week, we took a brief aside from looking at the arrest and trials of Jesus to look at Peter and his denials of Christ as he was following the crowd as they took Jesus to the chief priest.
Today, we get back to Jesus and what is happening to him. Today we look at the first of three trials of Jesus.
So, let’s go ahead and read our passage, Luke chapter 22. Verses 63 through 71, the end of the chapter. I’ll be reading, as all of you know, out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to grab what ever version of the Bible that you prefer reading, which ever version you understand most clearly and whichever translation helps you read the word of God for your self and get closer to him.
Without further ado, Luke 22:63-71, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the very Words of God himself:
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
66 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, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
Thus says the Word of God.
So, the setting of this week’s passage was set back up in verse 54. The temple guards, the Roman soldiers, the servants of the chief priest, they arrest Jesus, they seized him and took him to the chief priest’s home.
And these first few verses seem to be in conjunction, time wise parallel to the passage last week of Peter in the courtyard. As it seems, Jesus is waiting for the assembly of elders, the chief priests and so on as they prepare for his trial. As he is waiting, he is being held in custody and as is common in storytelling, when an innocent man is held in custody, guards will often taunt, mistreat, abuse, mock the innocent prisoner as they are waiting. That’s what we see here.
These first three verses here, verses 63- 65, they show us how much humiliation and abuse Jesus was taking just at the beginning of this ordeal. And it was only getting started. Its only going to get worse through chapter 23.
They were mocking him, making fun of him and his position. They were blind folding him and hitting him, telling him, Prophecy who hit you! And laughing at him. Ironically, this call for him to prophecy who was hitting him was happening at the same time as a previous prophecy of Peter denying him was in the midst of coming true. These men were completely blaspheming him, as he was about to be on trial for and wrongly found guilty of blasphemy.
And he took it.
He absolutely took it. He didn’t act or respond how any of us would have responded. He didn’t yell for them to stop. He didn’t fight back. He didn’t struggle. He didn’t argue back at them. He is and was so much better than us.
We have to be careful how far we take this. WE are not Jesus. WE will not go through in this life what Jesus went through. Also, he was 100% completely sinless and in no way, shape or form deserved anything that happened to him. We are sinful creatures how receive mercy every single day. So, we have to be careful to not compare ourselves completely to Jesus.
However, Jesus did day that if the world hates us, it’s because they hated him first. And sometimes people will come at us, in many different ways. Sometimes it will be because we preach a truth that they don’t like. Sometimes it will be for untruths that they believe. Sometimes we receive unjust treatment, punishment or consequences when we were not guilty of what they are claiming.
When that happens, our first instinct is to lash out, to fight back. Our first reaction is to defend ourselves by any means necessary. But when that happens, I want to exhort you, that means stronger than encouraging, I want to exhort you to think back to Jesus and his actions in this moment and through the next few hours as he goes through these various trials and beatings and ultimately his crucifixion. Think about how he holds himself and responds to it all.
I’m not saying there are no times, places or methods to defend ourselves or the fight back when injustice is happening to us, please don’t hear that. There are absolutely times, places and methods. However, it is usually, if not always, never the way our first reaction indicates, or our instincts try to thrust us towards.
The key word is that we all too often lash out. We use the wrong done to us to justify the wrong we do to others, or the sin we commit in our heart and our actions. Our sin is never justified by the actions and wrongdoing of others.
Sit on that for a minute. When I wrote that, I needed to go back over it and ruminate on that. I hit hard.
So, as we move on, in verse 66, as the day came, Jesus was brought in front of the council, made up of the chief priest, scribes, elders and so on.
One real quick aside. I mentioned before, especially in the Upper Room that I want to focus on what’s Luke was focusing on when he wrote his Gospel. The four Gospels do not contradict each other, and they are all inspired as the Word of God. But they all have different focusses. None of the four go through the trials of Jesus in their complete totality. So, there is a lot of information, nuance and events that we don’t see in Luke’s Gospel. But I want to focus on what Luke is focusing on. That being said, I want to make clear that, and this is not Luke’s focus at all, nothing about this trial was legal, moral, or done correctly or according to Jewish law and custom as laid out in the Law of Moses.
The main issue for this 1st trial comes in the two questions they ask. Are you the Christ? Are you the Son of God? They are not, of course, asking out of genuine curiosity. If they were, Jesus would have answered them much more plainly. Instead, they are asking to get his words, his admission on the official record.
It is interesting to me that three different titles for Jesus are used in this passage. The council uses the title Christ, or Messiah, and the title of Son of God. Jesus uses in his response that we will touch on in a moment, the Son of Man.
So, they ask him, Are you the Christ? Jesus says, even if I tell you, you won’t believe me. And that there is one of the key problems we see in the Gospels. People who ask but won’t listen to the answer. These men were blinded to the fact that Jesus really was the Christ. They knew that is what he was claiming. They knew that’s what he said. But they couldn’t believe it. Literally.
I can tell each of you here, I can tell everyone in Bangor that Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of the Bible is the Christ, is the Messiah, is God and is the savior. And that is the job of everyone in this room, everyone listening to me right now, is to tell you friends, family, community who Jesus is. And some may respond in faith. But many wont. Many are blinded to this truth. Blinded by their sin. Blinded by their biases. Blinded by previous teachings they have been taught. Blinded by their own understanding.
Like the men on this council, they are not seeking truth, they are seeking answers to be put on the record. So, Jesus doesn’t give them what they want. By doing so, he fulfills another prophecy, in Isaiah 53:7. Instead he tells them that despite their unbelief, despite what they are about to do and what’s about to happen to him., the Son of Man reigns.
Jesus, the Son of Man, whom Daniel describes and writes about this way:
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
That Son of Man, Jesus, he reigns. Right now, he is reigning in Heaven and over this earth. He reigns regardless of their belief or unbelief. Regardless of my belief or unbelief. Regardless of your belief or unbelief. I’m paraphrasing, but there is a saying that makes its way around online pretty commonly, and it says, the truth does not stop being true just because people don’t believe it. And Jesus is telling these men, in essence, the next time, our roles will be reverses, at the next trial, at the judgment of the living and the dead, it is I who will be judge.
The council was tired of running in circles. They wanted to finish this up so they could get Jesus in front of Pontius Pilate. Quit talking in circles and tell us plainly. Are you the Son of God, yes, or no?
And he says, you say I am.
Now, this is an affirmative answer. He is saying Yes. But he does so in a way that in the Greek language and culture is deflecting the responsibility back the question asker. He knows they are looking to get him on the record, they are looking for official testimony that they can use, and he won’t give it to him, even as he is answering their question.
At this point, they don’t care. None of the rest of the trial is legal or according to Jewish law anyway, so they take what he answered, and they use it to come up with the verdict they want.
He admits it! We heard it from his own mouth!
They recognized that he was indeed claiming to be the Son of God. They recognized that he was indeed affirming their accusations.
People can say and can genuinely be confused that “Jesus never claimed to be God.” This is one of many texts that say differently. Now, I will say, especially in English, Jesus is not always as clear as we want him to be in this. As I said, some people can genuinely find this hard to see.
But Jesus was clear enough that those in his day knew clearly what he was saying and who he was claiming to be.
And who was he? Jesus was a real live historical person. There is more historical evidence for him than for Julius Caesar.
Jesus was the Son of God who came to redeem mankind. He came to reconcile us back to God. He came to bridge the divide that sin causes between us and God. And he did it by taking our justice, our punishment for the sins we have committed.
Each and everyone if us here. Each and every person born, with Jesus being the only exception, each and every person has sinned and been separated from God. Each and every person who has sinned deserves to pay the consequences of that sin, which is eternity in Hell, having the full, perfect, holy wrath of God poured out on them. The wages, meaning the payment for sin is death. That is what each and every single person here deserves, especially me.
And yet, God loved us in that while we were yet sinners, he sent his son to take that penalty, that that wrath, to substitute himself, in our place. He who knew no sin became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. He died the death that we deserved. He took and absorbed the wrath that was justly and rightfully due to us. He paid our debt and bridged that gap for us, on our behalf.
And Jesus did this, not because we obeyed well enough. Not because we did the right thing. Not because our good outweighed our bad. Because none of that is true.
For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith. Gods grace poured out on us, through the vehicle of our faith in his son. And this is a gift, not because of us, but because of God and through God alone so that none of us may boast. And there is no name except Jesus by which we are saved. There is one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ.
Those who are saved are saved by the grace of God alone, through Faith alone in his Son Jesus Christ alone. All of this is revealed in Scripture Alone and all of it done for the Glory of God alone.
As Jonathon Edwards famously said, we contribute nothing to our salvation except the sin that made it necessary.
Here’s the deal. If you have believed in the Son, then you get the Father. If you reject the Son, you reject the Father. That’s it. Nothing else you do matters.
You being here on Sunday mornings, or Wednesday mornings, or Thursday evenings or any other time of the week does not indicate that you are saved. You voting the right way does not mean that you are saved. You cheering for, believing in morals, family values, hard work, freedom, rugged individualism, ‘Merca, homeschool, capitalism, rural, small town, down homeness, Yay God! Cross or a fish on the back of your truck, bible knowledge, none of that plays one iota into whether or not you are saved. Period.
Some of that may or may not be fruit from your salvation, that’s not what I’m saying. But too many people in our community are banking on those things to fool themselves into thinking that they are saved. Many of them go to church. Many of them are not saved. Many of them will stand in front of God saying LORD LORD and he will say Depart for I never knew you.
Don’t let that be you. Repent of your sins and believe the Gospel. Accept the grace of God who gives you faith and put that faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross and him alone. Faith comes by hearing, Hearing by the Word of God.
You can’t make your friends, family, community believe. You can only control yourself. Show what repentance is, through faith, by showing people the change that takes place, the turning away form those sins that so easily entangle. Nothing we do saves us, but if we are saved, we won’t do nothing.
And then you can make sure that your family, friends and community were given the truth and chance to repent and believe.
Jesus calls us to that. To Repent and believe and love our neighbors as ourselves so that the thought of them not believing should be heartbreaking to us and should drive us to action.
WE are going to celebrate communion now. Because Jesus told the disciples in the upper room. I’m going to die. I’m going to do this and this sacrament, this thing we are about to do together, do it in remembrance of him. Do it to remind ourselves of what he did. Of the love he showed. Of the sacrifice he made and the pain and suffering he endured and the eternity in perfect heaven with Him that we receive as a result of it.
His blood shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. His death satisfied the payment for our sins. His resurrection frees us from the chains of death and sin. His Holy Spirit changes us, from the inside out. He puts to death our old sinful nature and gives birth to our new selves so that our heart desires to learn more, to grow closer to him, to serve him, to grieve our sins and to live out his grace and his mercy.
Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 11 that Communion is for those who are believers only. We don’t restrict this because we can not judge a heart. Only you can judge your heart. Please check your heart, search your soul. If you believe please join us in taking part of this solemn yet celebratory event. If you are not a believer, this will not make you one, nor will it save you at all. Don’t take this to fit in or to fool yourself. Take this in remembrance of Jesus Christ and us getting to enjoy eternity with him because of what he did.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[f] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[g] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
If I can have Mike and Frank come on up, we will get started, passing out the elements, wafers symbolizing the broken body of Christ and the juice symbolizing the shed blood of Christ.
We will pray before taking each element as a church family, brothers and sisters in Christ, united and brought together by the blood of Christ.
IT has been my honor to serve and worship and to grow with you all. Thank you.