63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him.
64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”
65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said,
67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe,
68 and if I ask you, you will not answer.”
These men have no intention of getting anything out of Jesus. It says flat out that they are mocking Him as they beat Him.
You may have encountered people, or you may have done it yourself, and asked abusive questions. These are the terse questions that aren’t looking for answers or wisdom, they are simply putting the asker and the asked in position.
The most common one of these, which is so common that it doesn’t sound that abusive, is the classic:
What did you do that for?!
(If you’re ever in that spot, the proper answer is: “Don’t finish your sentences with prepositions!”)
Jesus gives us a brilliant example here, as He bore the weight of these questions. He had the wisdom to know the hearts of His accusers. They weren’t looking for answers, so answers wouldn’t do any good. Except for one answer He’ll give Pilate later, this is the only response He gives during His entire trial.
In the Garden of Eden, there were two trees that were called out and specified in Genesis. One was life-giving. We don’t even know how that worked or what that means, literally, but in eating from it, you drew life and possibly lived forever. God was delighted by people eating from this.
The tree they couldn’t eat from was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This tree didn’t help you live, but it put you in a state of saying “this is good” or “this is bad.” It wasn’t some yin yang balance deal. It was perfection. If you didn’t eat from it, then everything was good! Before they ate from this, “good” is mentioned 6 times! The closest they got to “bad” was the fact that Adam didn’t have a wife, and that was “not good.”
So when we ask questions, are we asking in the shade of the Tree of Life or in the shade of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
These guards didn’t care about what life-giving answers Jesus could give them. They thought He was evil– that He was bad.
When we ask “Why did you do that?” Or “What were they thinking?” we are pretty well trained to be asking that and already wearing our good or evil hat. What a HUGE difference it would make if we humbled ourselves and asked from a perspective of gaining more life in Jesus.
And as far as answering, Jesus was so wise. He knew answers wouldn’t give these guys any wisdom. They didn’t want any. So Jesus saved His wisdom for those that would listen to it after His resurrection.
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