September 17, 2020 – Thursday
Luke 22:67-69 NIV
67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me,
68 and if I asked you, you would not answer.
69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
It was daybreak and the people questioning Jesus were in the council of the elders including the chief priests and the teachers of the law, this was the Sanhedrin. Jesus was under arrest and was forcibly led before them. He had already been mocked, insulted, and beaten and had already been illegally tried. This would be no better, but at least it would have the façade of a real trial.
They had one key question for Jesus at the beginning, If you are the Messiah, tell us. The first part of His reply is revealing, If I tell you, you will not believe me. Why would they not believe Him? They already knew the truth. No one who was not the Messiah could have done all that He had done in the way of healing and casting out of demons.
They knew but did not want to know. Peter Pett put it this way, They would then interpret His reply in the way that they wished. They use catch phrases which they interpret in their own way and then apply regardless of the facts. In the main they are not interested in truth. They are only interested in getting their own way while at the same time convincing themselves that they have retained their ‘honour’. And never more so than today. For democracy and civil rights are both hotbeds of duplicity and hypocrisy. The only thing to be said in favour of democracy, when men and women are involved in it, is that it is better than the alternatives. For absolute power corrupts absolutely.
David Guzik adds, They wanted to hear from Jesus Himself if He claimed to be the Messiah. Again, this was all a formality because they had already passed judgment on Jesus with the illegal trial held the night before (Matthew 26:57-68), where essentially the same question was asked (Matthew 26:63). And added, after Jesus said If I tell you, you will not believe me, Given the circumstances – that Jesus had already been found guilty and that the present trial only a show – this was the perfect response. They pretended to have an open mind and ask sincere questions, but it wasn’t true – only pretense.
However, it is Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible that nails this when he describes the unbelief of the them as a group, they were determined not to believe in him, and receive him as such; their unbelief was wilful, obstinate, and invincible: they were proof against all arguments, evidence, and demonstration itself. They had made up their minds and nothing was going to change their minds. Their hearts were fully hardened and they did not care about truth, only what they wanted.
Our culture today would have us believe Heaven is a myth, God is a myth, and that Jesus was only a good man and He did not rise from the dead. They want to say we are crazy for believing we can communicate with God through prayer. Nonetheless, we know that Heaven is real, that God is real, that Jesus is His Son born of the virgin Mary and that He rose from the dead on the third day. We know God hears our prayers. And most of all, we believe and know Jesus will return.
Finally, with all that is going on in the world today, many of us believe Jesus could return soon, very soon. As a result, we want as many people as possible to know of Jesus and the Grace that is offered through His sacrifice on the cross paying for our sins. We want people to know their sins can be forgiven if they but repent of them by the name of Jesus the Christ. The Apostle Paul simply said in Acts 20:21, I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.