Daily Word

Lynching by Kangaroo Court | Matthew 26:59-64

59 Now the chief priests and the entire [ x ]Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the [ y ]temple of God and to rebuild it [ z ]in three days.’”

62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You offer no answer for what these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I place You under oath by the living God, to tell us whether You are the [ aa ]Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Matthew 26:59-64 (NASB) 中文

Headed to lynching

After being arrested by the crowd the disciples have fled out of fear. They now take Jesus to the chief priest’s home for the trial. As we noted yesterday, it was expressly done in secret since it was illegal. It was a classic lynching – just without the “traditional” rope as in slavery times in the USA.

Desperate for witnesses

Though it was a kangaroo court lynching, the corrupt leaders at least had enough scruples to call for witnesses. It didn’t matter whether they were truthful or not; they just had to appear truthful. Since it was the middle of the night there probably weren’t too many at hand. It seems like those standing around started to make stuff up. As the leaders evaluated their stories (lies), they realized their lies were too obvious. But eventually they found two (necessary according to the law – Numbers 35:30).

But even their “truthful” witnesses were corrupt. Did Jesus indeed say He is able to destroy the temple…? No! They likely changed it to make it seem more incriminating. What Jesus actually said in John 2:19 is, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” And we know from John 2:21 He wasn’t talking about the physical temple but His own body!

High priest harassment

Confident that they had their witnesses, the high priest pressed Jesus for a reply to the accusations. He gave none. Like so many other details of Jesus’ life and passion, this also was prophesied. Isaiah 53:7 tells us, “…And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” And this frustrated the high priest. “His was the silence of patience, not of indifference; of courage, not of cowardice.” (Spurgeon)

Claim to be Christ

So he demanded Jesus respond, “under oath by the living God”. Not only does He accept this title, He adds to it that He will be seated in Heaven and come with the clouds. This is a clear claim to be God. First, to sit at the right hand of power was a quote from Psalm 110:1 and referred to the right hand of God the Father. The “coming on the clouds of heaven” was a quote from Daniel’s prophecy of end times events (Daniel 7:13).


  • This same Jesus whom they were falsely accusing so that they could “snuff Him out”, is now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. He also will come back with power to judge and rule. Are we ready for that? Are we ready to meet God?
Kangaroo court. Image from mslegal.org *

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