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"Before the High Priest"

Lenten Devotion

"When He had said these things, one of the officers standing
 by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, 'Is that how you answer
the high priest?'" (John 18:22).

Read John 18:13-14, 19-24.

After His arrest, the guards bring Jesus to Annas. This former
Jewish high priest had been deposed by the Roman governor in
AD 15. His five sons had each taken a turn succeeding him
and now his son-in-law Caiaphas is high priest.

Annas questions Jesus about His disciples and His teaching, but
Jesus' silence protects them. So Annas turns to Jesus' teachings.
The high priest hopes he can trip up the Son of God and find a
basis for a charge against Him.

Jesus will have nothing to do with this. He has always been honest
with the Jewish authorities, never saying anything in private He
didn't say in public. He tells the high priest, "Ask those who have
heard Me." That leads an officer of the high priest to strike Him with
his hand.

At this point you might expect Jesus to meekly take the abuse, but
He doesn't. He turns to the officer and confronts him, "Why did you
strike Me?" Again, we see Jesus completely in control. He stops the
proceedings to call the officer to explain why he struck Him.

Annas showed he was willing to ignore the truth and twist it against
Jesus. Is integrity and truth important to you like it was to Jesus?
Or are we willing to distort the truth if it goes to our advantage?


Lord Jesus, You humbled Yourself to be struck by an officer when
You had only told the truth. Forgive us for setting aside Your truth
when we don't think it is convenient. Give us faith, courage and trust
to do what is right in Your eyes. Amen.

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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