John 18:13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard,16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.
He replied, “I am not.”
18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Big Idea: Jesus lived his life as an example.
The past several weeks of Jesus’ life have been momentous and historic occasions. His popularity was at an all time high. He brought Lazarus back from the dead. He entered into Jerusalem in great triumph. He even defeated the pharisees in public debate in the temple courts.
But all of the sudden, everything fell apart, and fell apart hard. He was betrayed by a close friend, arrested, and brought in for what was shaping up to be a sham trial. Jesus is standing by everything that he’s said in public and gets smacked in the face for it. Meanwhile, right outside, one of his best friends and closest disciples is denying that he even knows him.
But through it all, Jesus was living these last moments as a testimony to those that would hear about it later. As an example to us. His whole career and ministry had been very public. Even today, 2000 years later, Jesus is the most famous man in history. Billions have memorized his words and actions. No life has been studied more, and Jesus knew it while he was living it! There has never been another human being with less privacy than Jesus.
Jesus lived his life in such a way so that his testimony would be spotless before the judges and priest, before God, and for the benefit of the world. His consistent actions are going to be an ongoing point in the next couple of days. But for now, they stand in stark contrast with Peter’s denial just outside.
Application: We live in a time when we have less and less privacy. We live in urban, highly populated cities, connected to each other through the internet and cell phones. For believers, this is an opportunity to live public testimonies just like our Lord. So that when the world views our internet comments and history they can see the love of God shining through us. When run into us in the grocery store, or pass us on the street, they don’t see someone who is impatient or divisive, they see light in the darkness.