Blasphemy

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. – Matthew 26:57-‬66

As we approach the end of the book of Matthew we begin to see the religious leaders at their finest.  They are so concerned with doing what is “right” they miss the Savior right in front of them….hmm that is something to think about isn’t it.  It is so easy to become focused on doing rather than being.

The water reference here is to the Son of Man “coming on the clouds of heaven”.  This hearkens back to a time when God’s only interaction with His people was in the form of a cloud.  There were so many references to clouds in the old testament.  There were clouds in the temple, clouds so high above us, and more recently other references in Matthew of God coming on the clouds.  Clearly there is something special about God and clouds.  Perhaps this is not too surprising with the many ways that God is like water.

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.

Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” Finally the high priest has had enough of this upstart from Galilee and he tears his clothes and says, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”.

Blasphemy is such an interesting word. According to Merriam Webster’s it means “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God”; “the act of claiming the attributes of a deity”; or “irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable”. Jesus has been brought before the religious leaders to defend his statements and actions. They can’t find any real basis for convicting Him so they try to trap Him. Ironically, they are engaging in exactly the offense which they finally charge Him with – blasphemy.  They are playing god while He was standing in front of them, pretty precarious position if you ask me.

We all know the rest of this story.  The religious leaders decide that they better get some cover by taking Jesus before the Roman leaders so that their persecution is legitimized and Pilate will weasel out while washing his hands of the whole thing. 

The take home message here for me is to be very careful playing God because you never know when He might be standing right in font of you.

Prayer: God help us to see those who are in front of us with compassion and care.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Following God, Matthew, religion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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