Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Before the High Priest

Matthew 26:57-68; John 18:12-14, 19-24

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Peter Denies Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75; John 18:15-18, 25-27)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish. John 11:50

Opening Prayer

Jerusalem Attitudes Towards Jesus (John 12:12-19, 37-43)
    How did people in Jerusalem feel about the Galilean rabbi who came to celebrate Passover?
      John 12:12-13 = Welcomed with great fanfare on Palm Sunday
    What event preceding Jesus' arrival helped His fame spread in Jerusalem?
      John 12:17-18 = Raised Lazarus from dead, many people came out to see Him

    How did the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem feel about Jesus' popularity?
      John 12:19 = Frustrated that their enemy was popular
    Why didn't the Jewish leaders believe in Jesus even after seeing His miraculous signs?
      John 12:37-40 = Fulfilled Isaiah's prophesy of blinded eyes and deadened hearts
    Certainly a few leaders believed. Did any of them try to convince the others?
      John 12:42-43 = Silent - they loved praise from men more than praise from God

Better That One Man Die for the People (John 11:47-53)
    Were the Jewish leaders afraid that Jesus would upset God and bring His wrath?
      John 11:47-48 = They were afraid He'd upset Romans & they'd lose their place
    What did the leader of the Sadducees say in selfishness that prophesied of Jesus' purpose?
      John 11:49-50 = Better for you that one man die..than..the whole nation perish
    How could Caiaphas coincidentally say something so pointing?
      John 11:51 = He did not say this on his own, God led him to prophesy ignorantly
    Did John feel anything needed to be added to Caiaphas' prophesy for the Jewish nation?
      John 11:52 = Jesus would die for all of God's people, not just Jews
    Did anything result from this meeting of the Sanhedrin?
      John 11:53 = From that day on they plotted to take his life

We've Got Him! (John 18:1-12)
    How were the Jewish leaders finally able to find Jesus without having a crowd around?
      John 18:1-3 = Judas took temple soldiers to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
    Was Jesus expecting them?
      John 18:4-5 = Yes, He went out to greet them and introduced Himself
    Knowing what lay ahead for Him, what was Jesus most concerned about? = Matt 26:56
      John 18:8-9 = The well-being of His disciples, despite that they would fall away
    Since Jesus was so cooperative, did the soldiers just ask Jesus to come with them?
      John 18:12 = No, they arrested and bound Him

Annas, the High Priest Emeritus (John 18:12-14)
    Where did the temple police take Jesus?
      John 18:13 = To Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest

    Annas - High priest from 6 to 15 AD
      Considered by Jews as true high priest since appointment was for life by Jewish law
      Found it more profitable to direct the high priest than to be the high priest
        Had Romans appoint his 5 sons, a son-in-law (Caiaphas) & a grandson as HP
        Lived in the palace of the high priest - large building with central courtyard
      Extremely wealthy - Owned famous Bazaars of Annas
        Had monopoly on sale of sacrifice animals & on stalls for moneychangers
        Jesus' cleansing of the temple would have been seen as a threat to Annas
        Given great power by Romans because he gave money to key Roman leaders

    Would Annas have any trouble getting his son-in-law to get rid of this Jesus?
      John 18:14 = No, Caiaphas had said it better for one man to die for the people

Preliminary Hearing Before Annas (John 18:19-24)
    What kind of information did Annas want from Jesus? = Illegal - witnesses first to establish guilt
      John 18:19 = Size of His following and a blasphemous & punishable secret belief
    What secret ideas did Jesus reveal to Annas?
      John 18:20-21 There were none, Jesus always spoke openly, Others will agree
    What was significant about Jesus' response?
      Isaiah 45:19; 48:16 = Fulfilled prophesy about speaking truth openly, no secrets

    How did the Jewish leaders feel about Jesus standing up for His truth before Annas?
      John 18:22 = Frustrated at losing argument, one hit Jesus in the face
    How did Jesus use this violent action to further demonstrate His truth?
      John 18:23 = If I'm wrong, tell me how. If I'm not wrong, why did you hit me?
    What did Annas do when it became obvious that Jesus was too wise for Him to handle?
      John 18:24 = Sent Him to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin

The Waiting Room (Luke 22:63-65)
    How did Jesus and His guards pass time while waiting for the Sanhedrin to be gathered?
      Luke 22:63-65 = They mocked, beat & insulted Him
    What passion prophesy did this begin to fulfill?
      Isaiah 50:6 = He offered Himself to beating, mocking and abuse

    The Sanhedrin - The highest leadership council of the Jews
      70 select leaders (chief priests, scribes & elders) plus high priest appointed for life
        Numbers 11:16-17 = Patterned after 70 elders God chose to help Moses
      Given civil powers from Rome; Final court of appeal for Mosaic law = John 18:31
        Power to execute until 30AD; Death sentence then needed Roman okay ^

Witnesses (Matthew 26:57-61)
    Would Jesus find justice and protection of the innocent before the Sanhedrin?
      Matthew 26:57, 59 = No, they had already decided His sentence, needed a reason
    Couldn't the Sanhedrin make any ruling they wanted? What kind of evidence did they need?
      Deuteronomy 17:6 = Needed 2 or more witnesses to sentence someone to death
    As active as Jesus had been, how many sets of witnesses came forward with stories?
      Matthew 26:60a = Many came forward, none that confirmed each other
    By pushing hard for anything that could convict Jesus, what commandment did they break?
      Exodus 20:16 = # 8 - You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor

    Was the Sanhedrin ever able to find two people who would agree on incriminating evidence?
      Matthew 26:60b-61 = Yes, they said He threatened to destroy the new temple
    Had Jesus made such a threat?
      John 2:18-20 = He had said He would raise in 3 days the temple THEY destroyed
    Was Jesus even speaking of the same temple?
      John 2:21-22 = No, He was speaking of His body
    Had the Jewish leaders just misunderstood what Jesus had said?
      Matthew 27:62-63 = No, they proved later that they understood what He meant

Let's Try This (Matthew 26:62-64)
    Knowing that the leaders really understood what He had said, how did Jesus respond?
      Matthew 26:62-63a = He didn't say anything, This frustrated Caiaphas
    What prophesy did Jesus' response begin to fulfill?
      Isaiah 53:7 = Led like a lamb to the slaughter...did not open His mouth

    Realizing this twisted evidence couldn't hold up before the Romans, what did Caiaphas try?
      Matthew 26:63b = He directly asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, God's Son
    What was the purpose of Caiaphas saying, I charge you under oath by the living God?
      Leviticus 5:1 = It forced Jesus to say something
    How did Jesus point out that they already knew and had rejected His answer?
      Luke 22:67-68 = If I tell you, you won't believe - You know, but won't admit it
    How did Jesus then answer Caiaphas' question even deeper than they expected?
      Matthew 26:64 = You said it...You'll see proof when I return on God's right hand

Guilty! (Matthew 26:65-68)
    How did the Sanhedrin react to Jesus' reply?
      Matthew 26:65-66 = Here's our evidence! We've got plenty of witnesses now
    How serious was a charge of blaspheme by calling one's self God?
      Leviticus 24:14-16 = Punishable by death
    How did Caiaphas show he was trying to convict Jesus rather than keep God's Law?
      Leviticus 21:10 = High priest was never allowed to tear his clothes
    Was a death sentence enough to satisfy the anger of the Jewish leaders?
      Matthew 26:67-68 = No, they began hitting, mocking and spitting on Him

The Next Step (Matthew 27:1-2)
    After finding Jesus guilty of blasphemy, what was the next step to have Him executed?
      Matthew 27:1-2 = Get the approval of the Roman procurator
    Will pick up the story here in two weeks

The Illegal Trial (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 18)
    Innocent until proven guilty?
      Mark 14:1-2 = They had decided he would die before any charge could be found
    Religious leaders carefully screen witnesses to ensure justice
      Mark 14:56-57 = Look for false witnesses against Jesus, anyone to condemn Him

    Capital cases must begin with reasons for acquittal
      Luke 22:66-67 = Immediately began looking for ways to convict Jesus
    In capital cases, all can argue for acquittal but not all can argue for conviction
      Mark 14:55 = Whole Sanhedrin tried to convict, no defense sought or allowed
    Capital trials must be held in the daytime and verdicts reached in the daytime
      John 18:28 = Trial held & verdict given before dawn, in a hurry to beat Passover
    Capital verdicts for acquittal could come the same day, conviction not until the next day
      Mark 14:64; 15:1 = Convicted within same half day (or less)

    Serious charges are to be tried only in the Sanhedrin's regular temple meeting place
      Luke 22:54 = Both trials took place in the high priest's palace
    Defendants are not required to incriminate themselves
      Matthew 26:63-65 = Jesus forced under oath, then incriminated for answer

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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