Adult Sunday School
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Jesus’ Trials Before the High Priests
Text: John 18:12-27
I. Jesus was arrested by Roman soldiers and Jewish officers.
A. Even though it was still night, he was immediately led to the house of Annas
1. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas
2. The two traded off the role of high-priest each year. One was the proper High Priest and the other was a political appointee
B. Caiaphas was present
1. We are reminded that he had already stated that one should die on behalf of the people.
2. In other words, we know that Caiaphas had already decided on the death penalty for Jesus before he was tried.
C. Peter and another disciple followed.
1. Peter could not enter, so waited outside.
2. The other disciple was known to the high priest and was able to enter.
a. This disciple was probably John
(1) None of the other Gospels record this fact
(2) John always referred to himself in the third person
3. Peter was recognized by some of the high priest’s servants – Luke 22:55-58
II. The High Priest began questioning Jesus
A. This was in direct violation of Jewish law.
1. He was examined at night when none could come to his defense.
2. He was directly examined by the high priest, who was suppose to be an impartial judge
B. Caiaphas was interested in who Jesus associated with and what he taught – John 18:19
1. Jesus’ response was that he had taught openly. They could have learned what he taught on their own without examining him.
2. They also could have brought witnesses, which would have been in keeping with the Old Law’s requirement of needing two or more witnesses.
C. One of the officers nearby took offense at Jesus instructing the High Priest. He struck Jesus.
1. Jesus scolds him for violating yet another principle of fair trials.
2. He was struck because they didn’t like the answer, not because he answered falsely.
3. Even if he did speak falsely, striking a person on trial was not allowed.
III. It now was approaching daylight, and the trial was moved to Caiaphas’s home
A. Other people began to associate Peter with Jesus – John 18:25-26
B. They insisted because of the way he spoke – Matthew 26:73-74
1. It could be referring to his Galilean accent.
2. It could have been his lack of profanity marked him as being with Jesus
3. Because Peter “disproves” their assertion by cursing and swearing.
C. The cock then crowed with the dawn, and Jesus being lead to Caiaphas’s house turned and looked at Peter – Luke 22:61-62
IV. The soldiers holding Jesus began beating Jesus as they waited for the Sanhedrin to gather – Luke 22:63-65
V. The whole counsel gathered – Luke 22:66
A. Many false witnesses were brought, but they could not get two to agree until finally two came saying Jesus planned to destroy the temple – Matthew 26:59-61
1. Mark notes that even this testimony was inconsistent – Mark 14:57-59
B. Instead of remaining silent, the high priest directly asked Jesus to defend himself – Matthew 26:62-63
C. Jesus eventual response caused an uproar. He admitted to being the Christ and the Son of God – Luke 22:67-70
1. The high priest charged Jesus with blaspheme. A mere man claiming to be deity! – Matthew 26:65
2. The death penalty was urged – Matthew 26:66
3. The whole counsel voted for the death penalty – Mark 14:64
D. The crowd began spitting on Jesus, punched him and slapped him. They taunted him to prophesy who was hitting him – Matthew 26:66-67