Luke: Pre-Trial of the Messiah

Luke 22:63-71

In the last post, our focus was on Peter’s denials and his reaction to the realization that what Jesus said previously was not symbolic–it was very real. During these pre-morning scenes, Jesus is aggressively questioned by the high priests who have already decided His fate. It seems the guards pick up the scent as they begin to treat Jesus brutally.

They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” And they said many other insulting things to him. Luke 22:64-65

For some reason, Joseph Conrad’s, Heart of Darkness, comes to mind. We see here those who are supposed to be most civilized acting with complete disregard for human life. Beating a blindfolded man makes no sense. Mocking and insulting their prisoner is surrealistic, out of step with Jesus’ teaching and healing ministry. And yet it is real.

The council of elders must know this is going on. There is no indication that the guards are bridled in the slightest. The mock trial continues.


Sleep deprivation is one of the most often used techniques for breaking prisoners. If you keep someone awake long enough, they’ll say whatever you want at some point. In this episode, I think the council is losing focus, not Jesus. They are working hard to come up with a case they can present before the Roman authorities since they are trying to put the responsibility for eliminating Jesus on government shoulders.

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” Luke 22:70-71

The entire Sanhedrin finally gets the non-answer that they wanted. By not refuting their claim, Jesus admits He is indeed the Son of God. That seals it for the Jewish leadership. They heard what they wanted to hear.


Though it is daybreak, the story turns incredibly dark. In God’s great compassion for mankind, He sent Jesus into the world and only a few received Him. It seems we, as a race, haven’t advanced far from Genesis:

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5

Instead of flooding the earth this time, God provided the perfect sacrifice to save the world. This doesn’t make sense to most people because their focus is on themselves first, lost in the sea of selfish desires.

Lord, help us to step back and see what it is You see, through Your eyes. There are too many times that we are surrounded by darkness. Don’t let our hearts feel the weight of those who would be misled. Instead, fill our hearts with the joy of Your salvation and may this true light be our testimony.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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