As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, we’re now looking at the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. That’s the ruling body of elders in Israel.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”
Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
Luke 22:66-71 NIV
This is quite an applicable portion of Scripture. It contains what I call the “Jesus Dilemma”. It was faced by the religious leaders of Israel as well as the unbelieving world of today.
The biggest part of the problem is faith. These were a group of men who saw the works of the Lord. They heard His teachings and felt the power of His wisdom. The life of Christ was above reproach – there was no wrong-doing that they could accuse Him of.
However, they had already rejected the Lord before the trial ever started. They were simply looking for a way to put Him to death.
That happens a lot in today’s society. Many times, people say that they want to talk to us about Jesus Christ or the teachings of Scripture. However, the reality is that they’ve already made up their minds to reject it no matter what we say.
It’s almost like the world views Christians the same way they view time-share salesmen. They listen politely, but they already have their “no” ready and waiting for the end of the conversation.
I love how the Lord gets right to the center of the issue. It’s not that clear in this English translation, so I’ll try to explain what was said.
The first thing Jesus told the leadership of Israel was, “If I told you who I am, you wouldn’t believe me.” That’s where faith comes in.
People see the difference in our lives. They see the blessing and favor of God on us. They ask us to explain what makes the difference. But, when we tell them how the Lord Jesus has changed our lives, suddenly the walls go up.
They start getting defensive. They tell us that the blessings of God are merely coincidences that could happen to anyone. They’ve decided from the start, not to believe.
There’s a second issue as well. Literally, Jesus said, “If I asked you, then you not think long and hard about your decision.” That’s because the word for answer, is a word that means to make a decision based upon all of the facts before you.
That’s what I think is a major problem in today’s society. People don’t want discernment and understanding. They simply want explanations that agree with what they already want to believe. They don’t want to make a personal judgment about who Jesus Christ is.
We have a generation that doesn’t want to think deeply about anything. That’s why we enjoy Google and Facebook. These sites record what we view, determine what we like, and spoon feed us more of the same.
Personally, I want to be challenged. Tell me why you think I’m missing it. It strengthens my faith. Or it shows me areas in which I need to change. In either case, I experience growth.
The worst-case scenario is for me to decide what I want to believe, then only listen to those who agree with me. That’s a sure road to failure.
I don’t follow Jesus Christ by blind faith. He has proved Himself faithful to me over and over again. My trust in the Lord is based upon a deep understanding of Him and His ways.
My prayer is that you will know Jesus Christ in the fullness of who He is. Then your life will reflect the glory of God.
Question: Why do you think that many in the world reject the knowledge of Jesus Christ?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi