Are You Really?

We have got very used to people making all kinds of claims, about themselves, their lifestyles, the things they promote.  We have learnt to become suspicious of those claims.  We don’t believe something unless it is verified by others, we take with a pinch of salt headlines that are splashed before us.  We want evidence and proof.

Jesus Is Questioned by the Council

53Jesus was led off to the high priest. Then the chief priests, the nation’s leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses all met together. 54Peter had followed at a distance. And when he reached the courtyard of the high priest’s house, he sat down with the guards to warm himself beside a fire.55The chief priests and the whole council tried to find someone to accuse Jesus of a crime, so they could put him to death. But they could not find anyone to accuse him. 56Many people did tell lies against Jesus, but they did not agree on what they said. 57Finally, some men stood up and lied about him. They said, 58“We heard him say he would tear down this temple that we built. He also claimed that in three days he would build another one without any help.” 59But even then they did not agree on what they said.

60The high priest stood up in the council and asked Jesus, “Why don’t you say something in your own defense? Don’t you hear the charges they are making against you?” 61But Jesus kept quiet and did not say a word. The high priest asked him another question, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the glorious God?”

62“Yes, I am!” Jesus answered.

“Soon you will see

the Son of Man

sitting at the right side

of God All-Powerful,

and coming with the clouds

of heaven.”

63At once the high priest ripped his robe apart and shouted, “Why do we need more witnesses? 64You heard him claim to be God! What is your decision?” They all agreed that he should be put to death.

65Some of the people started spitting on Jesus. They blindfolded him, hit him with their fists, and said, “Tell us who hit you!” Then the guards took charge of Jesus and beat him.

They took him away, to the High Priests House.  They were all there, the chief priests, the elders, the legal experts.  They were desperately looking for evidence, something to charge him with, but they had none – after all Jesus had done nothing wrong.  People tried to come up with things, but they didn’t get their stories straight, so nothing stuck.

They wanted Jesus to say something, but he refused, just kept quiet.

Then they asked the killer question,

Are you the Messiah?

I suppose that was what people had been wanting to ask all along.  He behaved like The Messiah, he talked like he was The Messiah, but surely he couldn’t actually think he was.

I am,

Jesus said.  Well that got them going.  “Blasphemy”, we’ve all heard it.  Now he’s come out and said it.  Surely everything will be ok now.  Jesus has said he’s the Messiah, the religious leaders will see it, God’s kingdom will come, and all will be well.  Won’t it?…

But all it seemed to unleash was the relief that now they had got him, now they had him nailed.  This man thinks he is the Messiah – and he deserves to die.

How can that be?  For years we have waited for The Messiah, and now he is here people don’t like it, they don’t like the new thing God is going to do, and so they want rid.

This is God, here among us, living our life, living God’s life on earth – and people don’t want it.  They want a Messiah in their image, the way they’d always imagined it.  They don’t really want God to be God.

Are we any different today?

Forgive me Lord,

the times I want you to do things my way,

when I want your ways to be different,

when I don’t hear what you’re saying.

May I acknowledge that you are indeed God,

as I surrender to your ways

– not mine

This year, I am again following the BigRead using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark.  I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.

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