Jesus often used “prophetic hyperbole.” The only charge the witnesses against him could agree on meant taking his hyperbolic words literally (see John 2:19-22). Deuteronomy 19:16-21 said false witnesses should face the penalty their false charge would have created. This Sanhedrin just ignored that command.
- When Solomon dedicated the first Temple, he prayed a profound prayer recorded in 1 Kings 8. In that prayer, he acknowledged that no earthly building could contain God. But by Jesus’ day, the leaders were willing to kill God to preserve the Temple. How can we honor God even more than we honor the important earthly symbols that point to God?
I am back on schedule with the GPS’s!
The GPS today isn’t acctually correct from my point of view. We use a resource for these and I edited and made changes before we published them at St. John, but I think I missed something above.
The first line seems to indicate that there was agreement on a charge, Mark clearly states that “even on this point their testimony did not agree.” So what the writer of the GPS is pointing out I think, is that they agreed on the essance of the charge, but the witnesses couldn’t agree on what was actually said. Fair enough… The point remains that Jesus was still in trouble and it was getting worse.
Let me clear here, this isn’t a Jewish thing. I am not, nor do I believe the authors of the GPS are, trying to demonize people of the Jewish faith nor the Sanhedrin in particular. What is being done is pointing out the struggles we still have to this day in worshiping the wrong thing. How often do churches in the name of faith get into arguments and behave badly over buildings, song styles, and carpet colors to the point where their behavior totally dishonors God? Too often.
The good news is that when these things happen God can and continually does bring new life. Jesus in his orriginal declaration about the distruction of the temple in John says… “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ These are words we need to remember, for this is the promise of God.