Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meditation XVIII -- Witness

"If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?"

After Jesus was arrested and before he was taken to Pilate, he was brought before the high priest for interrogation. The high priest knew who Jesus was, and knew about His teaching, and Our Lord reminds him of this: "I have said nothing in secret." But Jesus takes a further step and suggests, "Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said."

This statement is significant. Jesus is going to be "tried" for his "corruption" of the people. The Jewish leaders want Him dead because His teachings challenge their authority, and they will appeal to the secular authorities on the basis that Jesus challenges the authority of Caesar. Jesus not only trusts His disciples with His words, He tells the high priest to look directly at what He has said and the real effect it has had on those who heard him.

For this, Christ was struck by an officer who asks, "Is this how you answer the high priest?" Jesus had not been disrespectful of the man or his position. He gave a true answer, one that also could have provided those seeking his life more "evidence" against Him. Under the guise of putting Our Lord in His place, the officer revealed that Christ's truth was too much for the ruling powers to bear.

Lord, give us strength to bear witness to Your truth, no matter who asks us or what earthly punishments we might receive. Let our words shine Your glorious Light onto a dark and unbelieving world. Amen.

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