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.
First off, I am caught by the confusion of the High Priest confronting God. Now listen, I am not even considering cutting down Christians, Pastors, Teachers, Priests, Popes, but this is comparable to the Pope confronting God. I mean just plain Christians get slack for not "living right" in front of people, but here we are "ultimate truth" vs "those chosen to represent it". We are flawed folks. We can not put so much trust in human leadership. We have to seek God in all his answers to all our needs.
I'm first to tell you that it's easy to get selfish and want to have fame, fortune, success, power, love and acceptance. When you live in the world, you are very much conditioned to believe that if you have a lot of friends, a lot of followers, a lot of money, a lot of publicity, a lot of likes on your social media pages, you are doing good in life. If all of a sudden your followers started dropping like flies or the bank account starts draining, or no one called or checked in on you, it would be easy to go into depression mode, because what worth would you be? That is what was going on with the religious leaders... Jesus was pulling their following and pointing them towards God. This has been a very hard lesson for me for the last year. Not because of any religious leaders or churches, but because many times, we are focusing on the wrong things and God will pull you away to make sure that your focus is on him. If your foundation is unstable, it will break down all that stands on it, and will rebuild it...even if you've been working on that foundation for years! God makes all things new.
I find it interesting that the arrest of Christ and all that went along with it, happened in the night under the protection of darkness. Many times we can want to control situations or justify our behavior so we do it in the dark. Again we are taking about the high priests. In the same situation however, it is not just the high priests. All of the disciples of Jesus deserted him as well. Put under pressure and many times we retreat. Peter openly denied Christ, which God used to eventually strengthen Peter, but what about all the other disciples? Although the spotlight was not amplified on them. Where are they? They scattered. And how about the sinners that flocked to Jesus to be saved and healed...where are they? Don't be too hard on each other when it comes to your righteousness. Right standing is only in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of others. It appears that it doesn't really matter if you are a High Priest, a Disciple or a Sinner...we can all behave in the same manner when put under pressure, can't we?
Finally, I'm thinking about what happens when we hear truth, but don't want to. Again, we are speaking about the High Priest. I am not using that to say that Church leaders are bad...I'm using it to show that anyone can be deceived. Jesus, God, is speaking truth, and what does the religious leaders do? They slap God in the face. The next time you are confronted by truth, take a breathe before you strike and ask yourself, do I need to seek more of the Holy Spirit in my life?