Jesus Questioned by the High Priest
19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”
22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”
23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
“Do You answer the high priest like that?”
What was the stimulus for this action? Was it questioning the high priest? Was there something in the tone of the voice that we are not privy to? Whatever, Jesus did not back down but continued to answer with the confidence he had as Son of God. I find no sign of disrespect here.
Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
The others, Pilate, soldiers, etc., were speaking from the perspective of the natural world. They could not understand (What is truth?) because he spoke about a spiritual world. Nature that is not born again and filled with the Spirit cannot discern the things of the spirit.
Pilate said, “What is truth?”
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man. 39 It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.
Barabbas operated in the natural realm. His rebellion did not threaten the religious leaders. Jesus operated in the spiritual realm. He was perceived as a threat to their leadership in the spiritual realm. Therefore they wanted Jesus removed, not Barabbas.