Out in the Open

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.

The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”

He said, “No, I’m not.”

The servants and police had made a fire because of the cold and were huddled there warming themselves. Peter stood with them, trying to get warm.

Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly in public. I’ve taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I’ve said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard.”

When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”

Jesus replied, “If I’ve said something wrong, prove it. But if I’ve spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?”

Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas. (John 18:15–24)

Annas was the father-in-law of the Chief Priest Caiaphas. Although he had been the Chief Priest in the past, he did not hold that office while he was questioning Jesus. But he remained a force to be reckoned with. Jesus, however, did not recognize his authority and treated him with little respect, so much so that one of the policemen slapped him for it.

Jesus felt no need to defend himself before his accusers. He was a public figure and his positions were well known. Jesus was not interested in wasting words with people who already had their minds made up. What was going to happen to Jesus was a foregone conclusion and Jesus knew it. And it was what he wanted, after all.

Jesus knew that they had no basis for the charges against him. There was nothing he had done or said that wasn’t true. Being right is a wonderful defense, but it does not guarantee success. People often reject what is true, preferring lies. Our goal should be to always speak and do what is true. Then if we suffer, at least we suffer for doing the right thing—and we then join with Jesus in the same sort of suffering he endured.

Send to Kindle

About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
This entry was posted in Bible, Religion, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *