To please discuss: Luke 22.63->

Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and asked, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him.

When day came, an assembly of elders of the people gathered together, chief priests and scribes; and they led him away to their council. Where they said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us!”

But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask, you will not answer. But from now on this son of Adam will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

And they said, “Are you the son of God, then?”

And he said to them, “You say that I am.”

And they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

3 responses

  1. Notice the comment from the high priest, “I adjure thee by the Living God, tell us, art thou then the Son of God?” Compare that statement with the statement the tempter had previously given to Him: “If thou art the Son of God tell these stones to become bread,” “If thou art the Son of God, throw thyself down, for it is written,” and “If thou art the Son of God, fall down and worship me.”

    I see the same threads in the statement, “Art thou the Son of God,” and “If thou art the Son of God.” At the very least, it was coming from the same source, so it seems to me.

    First, the whole trial of Jesus, was not in keeping with the traditional means, as not all of the members of the council were present. They were supposed to hear the person out first, and all along the Scribes and Pharisees wanted to kill Him without a trial at all. On two occasions, He got away from them.

    This He had already forewarned the disciples about regarding His treatment, death, burial, and the third day His resurrection. He forewarned and predicted these things, that when they would come to pass, His disciples would believe Him.

    “What need we further any witnesses,” which were not really getting their stories straight, “Ye have heard for yourselves his blasphemy!” He rent his garment, interestingly and not his heart. He had already summed up Jesus as an impostor and finally Jesus, without hesitation says basically what they had thought: He is making Himself to be equal with God!

    They refused to listen to Him. He had told them many things, mostly of which angered them. They thought He was rejecting Mose’s ordinances. Seeking also to start His own sect, one that was apostate. They could not bear listening to Jesus anymore! This was it. The Feast was approaching, and they wanted Him put out of the way for good, and His teaching. . .

    I really like the way in which Jesus spoke little to the Scribes and Pharisees. He spoke very little, but when He did, it was to the point and powerful. . . Something I need to learn from this passage: slow to speak, slow to anger, slow to wrath. . .

    1. Well, we don’t have a transcript of the trial; and none of these accounts claims to be such, or even to have been written by anyone actually present there. So possibly [as in Matthew] the High Priest does say, “I abjure thee by the living God,” but we don’t see that here.

      Crossan says, plausibly, that we aren’t following Sanhedrin rules because this isn’t the Sanhedrin, but a hastily-assembled kangaroo court, a consultation by Jesus’ enemies as to how best to get rid of a man who has been a royal pain to them ever since he came.

      What they are asking isn’t exactly “Are you YHWH’s biological offspring?” The question, in their terms, is probably “Are you the Messiah?” — that is, King of Israel. As Psalm 2 [‘a coronation psalm’] says of any King of Israel: “You are My son; today I have begotten you.”

      There’s nothing inherently blasphemous in any such claim; it is, however inconvenient. Appointed to his office by the Romans, the High Priest (and thus his supporters) are supposed to turn any such claimant over to them. If they didn’t, they’d have to throw their support to Jesus, putting themselves way out on a limb. Easier to turn him in, tell themselves, “Nope, this one wasn’t the right guy.” But doing so could seriously damage their public approval rating (which would likewise diminish their usefulness to their Roman patrons.) So they want some rationale acceptable to the Jewish population.

      “Seated at the right hand of God.” == ‘Sharing God’s throne’? Possibly; there was speculation to that effect. But Jesus is refering, as he has before, to Daniel 7: where “One like a son of Adam came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him,” to be given “dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him.” Before that ‘Ancient of Days’ takes His seat at the head of the court, it says “Thrones were placed.” So it’s an open question where this “Son of Man” is supposed to sit, literally. But “at the right hand of Power” does suggest being God’s ‘right-hand man,’ so to speak. Considerable implied authority. And Jesus has already referred to Psalm 110 [“a royal psalm, probably composed for a coronation”): “The Lord says to my lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.'” He is definitely claiming that God will act on his behalf.

      What seems to be the kicker: “Are you the ‘Son of God’?” — “You say that I am.”


      I find a good interpretation of that line on this guy’s blog:

      ” In honor-shame cultures, men do not [directly] answer questions when confronted by hostile challengers. To respond to either of the above questions — whether by “yes” or “no” — would have been [seen as] weak and shameful on Jesus’ part…. I think Jesus was affirming he was the messiah in the most insulting and aggressive way possible — by refusing to answer the question, and by implying, moreover, that Pilate was the one who ‘said so’, that is, in effect, who acknowledged it.”

      “Seeking to start a new sect,” you say? No, [following NT Wright’s take] it looks more like Jesus was redefining what God was demanding of Israel, to remain ‘chosen’. Not necessarily that different from what Rabbinical Judaism eventually became, a couple of devastating wars later.

    2. One night’s sleep later… I think you’re on to something. Not “equality with God”, not whether he gets to sit on the big throne or a little one nearby — the suggestion that he will (as Paul says, probably before these gospels are written) share in the power of God.

      Since we also have Jesus saying, at least in John, that anyone who learns what he is teaching can do anything he can — This implies that we’re going to do that also. When we start paying better attention to Daddy, stop totalling Daddy’s car in the driveway…

      Is this unnerving, or what?

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