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Controlled Power

Controlled Power
Words of Faith 3-9-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 18
[12] Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him [13] and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. [14] Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people. . . .
[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 struck 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, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

The arrest was now complete. Peter and John followed at a safe distance watching the process of the “trial” that took place during the night. Jesus was taken at once to the residence of the high priest.
Both Annas and his son-in-law are referred to as “high priest”. Annas had served as high priest during the early years of Jesus’ life but was deposed in about 15AD by the Roman procurator. Annas continued to exercise control of the priesthood and the functions of the Temple through his several sons who became “high priest” in name.
Annas’ family belonged to the Sadducean aristocracy. He was arrogant, astute, ambitious, and enormously wealthy. He and his family were proverbial for their greed and corruption. Family members ran the booths that sold animals and materials required for the temple sacrifices. This was the “family business” that Jesus had affronted when He turned over the tables and denounced those who would make the house of prayer into "a den of robbers" (Mark 11:15-19).
The questioning of Jesus focused on His disciples and teaching. While the primary affront to the priestly family was economic and embarrassing insult, they searched for a way that they might accuse Jesus of political subversion. This was the only way to gain the support of Pilate for the purpose of execution.
Jesus had nothing to hide. He had so frequently and openly declared the principles of His kingdom that there would be many witnesses who could narrate in detail what He had taught. The interrogation by Annas was unnecessary because public testimony to Jesus' teaching and attitude would be easily available, especially in Jerusalem, where He had been speaking to crowds for several days.
During the interrogation, Jesus' answer seemed disrespectful to one of the interrogators who then struck Jesus in the face. The act was illegal. No sentence had been passed, and a prisoner was not subject to abuse, especially before conviction. In spite of Jesus' protest, nothing was done. He was sent bound to Caiaphas.
What do we see in this agonizing journey? We see the most remarkable control of power in all history. This calm control would continue all the way to the cross. We see God incarnate tolerate the arrogant abuse of a religious tyrant. Jesus could have called the most awesome power in the universe into action with a single word. But this was not His task. His task was to walk this road in humility.
What does this tell us? We have a real high priest. We have an advocate who knows the face of injustice. We have a Savior who was willing to be humiliated for our sake. We have One who will walk with us in the face of injustice and give us strength in the time of trial.

Lord, I give thanks that You were willing to go into the house of Annas and Caiaphas for my sake. You were willing to take the blows across the face for my sake. You were willing to set aside Your power for my sake. Give me the grace to walk in newness of life because of all You have done for me. Help me in my times of trial. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.