No, not those courts

 Continuing our way toward Easter, as the world continues toward Christmas

(105) Working our way through the Courts…

Dragged away by armed policemen in the middle of the night: There must be many people alive today who can relate to that. Our Savior would know just how they feel, but: How do we relate to them?

Jesus will be brought before Annas, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, and Herod during the next few hours. What authority does each of them wield, and how might their authority relate to earthly authorities today?

We start with Annas: Read John 18:12-24

1.       Read John 11:49-50 Caiaphas inherited power, authority & responsibility. What’s wrong with practical solutions?

2.       Annas still weilds a lot of power. What’s wrong with Annas asking Jesus about his doctrine?

3.       How can we tell if someone wants us to explain our faith, or if they just want to prove their own position?

4.       Read John 18:22-24 When might we complain we’re being spoken to in the wrong way?

Meanwhile Peter is waiting in the courtyard, and John, perhaps, is amongst the crowd invited to listen in: Read Matthew 26:58,69-75, Mark 14:54,66-72, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-18,25-27

1.       What excuses does Peter make? What excuses do we make?

2.       Read Mark 14:30 Has God ever convicted you through something you suddenly remembered?

3.       What makes you weep about the world today? And what should make us weep?

Jesus will be brought before Caiaphas & the Sanhedrin next. But they can’t meet until daytime, so… Read Luke 22:63-65

1.       Who are beating Jesus?

2.       When is it okay to ask for a sign, and when might such a request be blasphemous?

Day breaks, and Jesus is brought in for a “religious” trial: Read Matthew 26:57,59-68, Mark 14:53, 55-65, Luke 22:66-71

1.       Why wouldn’t the witnesses’ testimonies agree? Why did they need to?

2.       Should we always believe what “good people” say under oath?

3.       Read John 2:18-19, Matthew 16:21. What do you think Jesus meant about destroying & rebuilding the temple?

4.       How many pseudo-Messiahs came before Jesus? Why would or wouldn’t the Jewish leaders believe Jesus  if he or his followers made that claim?

5.       What about claiming to be the Son of Man? What’s the difference? Read Daniel 7:13-14

6.       Why is Luke (Luke 22:70) the only one who clarifies that “Son of Man” means “son of God”?

7.       If they think Jesus deserves death, why can’t they just kill him there and then?

So now Jesus is sent before Pilate—the Roman ruler, who has authority to condemn people to die: Read Matthew 27:1-2,11-14, 19, Mark 15:1-5, Luke 23:1-7

1.       What do you think of the charges brought against Jesus in Luke 23:2?

2.       Why doesn’t Jesus defend himself? Should we always leap to his defense?

3.       Why might Pilate be reluctant to condemn a wandering Galilean?

Then Jesus is sent before Herod—the governor of Galilee, in town to celebrate Passover. Read Luke 23:6-12

1.       How is Herod like Annas and the soldiers in these events?

2.       How are we like Herod and Annas? How are we like Pilate? Like the Sanhedrin? Like Peter? Like John?

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