There are times when I am talking with Maria that I need to put my shovel down. You know what that is like. You open your mouth and you get into trouble. The more you talk with your spouse, the more trouble brews. I have been in enough trouble with Maria to almost recognize the time to put my shovel down. Oh, what a fool I have been as I love Maria!
Being in this business of preaching, God provides me words to fill a sermon. When the sermon is finished, then all of us who have heard the sermon we get to discover how we can live the sermon. I once heard a retired preacher say, “It is far easier to preach than it is to live what you preach.” So we preachers don’t look like complete fools, it is wise for us to stop speaking. We preachers could be more like Jesus, who knew the time to speak and when not to speak.
We preachers may know what the general will of God is. The rest of us Christians know the general will of God to be God wants all people to be with him. But to say specifically how the events in life are or are not the will of God, even we preachers are not that spiritually endowed!
On the other hand, Jesus knows the will of God. Jesus also knows how our will opposes the will of God. In this betrayal, trial, and execution of Jesus, it is amazing how those who oppose Jesus lead to the will of God being accomplished. Jesus says enough for us to know that he is not a fool. Jesus says enough for us to know that he is a lover, because he is doing the will of God. It is the Jewish religious leaders who oppose what Jesus is doing. Once Judas betrays Jesus, the mob gathers up Jesus for the Council.
A. The Council place Jesus on trial (14:53-64)
1. They wanted to put Jesus to death (14:55)
2. Many gave false testimony – yet, the testimony did not agree
3. This false testimony included:
a. “I will destroy this temple that is made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands”
b. They did not agree on this testimony!
c. Jesus actually said: “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.” (13:2)
4. The High Priest, Caiaphas, took matters into his own hands
5. Jesus answered Caiaphas
6. It is Jesus’ own words which are used against him. The hatred from the Council toward Jesus made them find a charge to make against him. Their hearing of Jesus’ words gave them all they needed to take Jesus before Pilate. From this point we see Jesus is not a fool. He answered Caiaphas’ question. Now his answer will be used against him.
B. Pilate questions Jesus (15:1-5)
1. It was during the night that the council had Jesus on trial
2. Early on Friday morning, they consulted to make sure the wording of the charge was correct for the Romans
3. “King of the Jews” – since Herod the Great’s death, no King of the Jews, the Romans wouldn’t allow it! – high treason
4. Pilate asks Jesus about this charge (“prefect” – a Roman “knight,” equestrian class, not quite a Roman senator, who administrated a small area for close supervision)
5. All Jesus says to Pilate is: “You say so.”
6. Caiaphas and Annas accused Jesus of many items
7. Jesus said nothing – he is not a fool, he is a lover
8. What Jesus had said when he wasn’t on trial came true. He was handed over to the chief priests & scribes, condemned to death, given to the Gentiles, mocked, spit upon, flogged, and killed (10:33-34). Because he did not refute the claims of the chief priests, Pilate let the charges stand against him.
Jesus dies because he was charged with high treason – being a king without Rome’s authorization.
Jesus dies because his prophecy came true.
Jesus dies because he is no fool. Jesus dies because he loves us.
Now, will we die because we are fools? Or will we die because we are lovers of Jesus?