1. What is the author’s main point in this passage? (MAIN POINT)
This is one of many encounters that Jesus is described as having with various religious and secular authorities leading up to the crucifixion.
The main point seems to emphasize the innocency of Jesus. He has spoken nothing in secrecy; he’s plainly showed what he believes and how he lives. What has he done to deserve this treatment? Nothing.
2. What new light do I find in this particular reading of this passage of the text? (NEW LIGHT)
I’m struck by the boldness of Jesus’ answers. No, timidity here, although he clearly remains respectful. His “yes” is “yes” and his “no” is “no”. I wonder if Gandhi or MLK used Jesus’ example during his arrest and interrogations for their non-violent resistance movements.
I also wonder if the reference to Jesus not speaking anything “in secret” was to clarify that there were no “hidden” teachings of Christ as sometimes (apparently) advocated by Gnostic Christians around the time that this gospel firstly widely appeared.
3. Is this passage true to my experience? (TRUTH)
I’m realizing (maybe this is more “new light” :)) that this passage is an excellent example of what Jesus meant by: Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No”; anything more than this comes from the evil one.* *(or “of evil”). Matthew 5:37 (NRSV).
Interesting, but most times when I have been very clear with my “yes” and my “no”, others tend to understand what I want or need from them or what I can or cannot give to them.
4. What are the implications of this passage for my life? (IMPLICATIONS)
Again, it’s difficult to “apply” this directly to my life given that I’ve never been persecuted or arrested on trumped up charges before. I’m amazed at how Jesus lived what he taught so plainly and clearly, and yet I’m only now, after many years of reading the same passages, understanding the connection made in the text between his word and deed.
5. What problems do I have with this passage? (PROBLEMS)