77 – Annas Questions Jesus
Where: Upper city, Jerusalem, Judea
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Jesus was taken from the garden of Gethsemane under guard, to Jerusalem and the palace of Annas [model], the patriarch of the high priests. He had been High Priest for ten years, had five sons who had been high priests, and now his son-in-law was the current High Priest. He was known for his aggressive questioning style, which could include fists, clubs, staves, and violent servants.
This was simply a preliminary investigation. It was not an official trial, which could not happen at night, but he was the most powerful religious leader in Jerusalem, and was the one whom Caiphas had convinced that tonight was the right time to arrest Jesus.
Annas questioned Jesus with the intent of finding out if Jesus were the leader of a popular uprising that might bring Roman armies against Jerusalem. There were followers of Jesus that were known to be members of a terrorist group called the Zealots. Would Annas recommend that Jesus be put on trial and what charges would there be?
Some of the questions that Annas asked Jesus were:
‘If you are sent by God, how do you plan to overthrow the Romans?
‘Do you plan to be the king in this Kingdom that you proclaim?
‘What gives you the right to pass judgment on those who serve in God’s temple?
‘Just how many followers do you have?
But Jesus was not there to answer questions. Jesus was God’s question to Annas. ‘Will you, as the leader of God’s people, or will you not, listen to God and lead Israel to be a light of justice that draws all people to God?’
As time went on and Jesus refused to answer any of his questions, Annas asked Jesus one final question. ‘Will you not offer proof that will show us that you are sent by God?’ And Jesus finally responded. ‘I won’t show you proof nor answer your questions’, at which time a guard slapped Jesus for being discourteous to the High Priest.
While this confrontation was taking place, there was another encounter occurring not far away. Out in the open courtyard of Annas’ home, the guards had a fire going to warm their hands and to light the area. John knew a woman in the household of Annas. She allowed him to enter the courtyard. When John asked the woman at the gate to let Peter into the courtyard, she did. But as Peter passed her, she asked Peter, ‘Are you not also one of the disciples of the man from Nazareth who is being questioned?’
Peter, fear clutching at his gut, quickly said ‘no.’
Not long after this encounter, Annas finished his fruitless questioning of Jesus. He had found Jesus to be dangerous, just as the leaders of the temple had found Jeremiah dangerous. Annas sent Jesus, with his hands tied, to the palace [model] of his son-in-law, Caiaphas the High Priest. With the guards, Caiaphas sent a message. ‘He is dangerous, and must be eliminated for the sake of the country.’
No questions have been asked yet.