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Mark’s first-century biography – page 44

They led Jesus (Jerusalem, c. AD 30) away towards the high priest. And all the high priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter, from a distance, was following him until inside - within the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting together with the attendants and warming himself near the light. 
Peter, the most vociferous of Jesus’ disciples, is following the arrested Jesus – “at a distance”. His position is dangerous – for him. He is among those who are religiously “high”, experienced, and well educated. Also, he’s now “inside”, obtaining warmth from the authorities and seeing by their “light”. 

Now the high priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus so as to put him to death, and they were not finding it because many were providing false testimony against him, and their testimonies were not consistent. 

In Jersey’s Royal Court, the judges are (hopefully) seeking truth from the facts brought before them. In this case, the judges, including the “whole council” (like the complete States of Jersey), are intent on finding facts to support a death verdict, a way forward which they had already decided upon.

And some, having arisen, are providing false testimony against him, stating that, “We heard him state that, ‘I will destroy this particular temple – man-made - and in three days I will build another house, not man-made.’” And not even about this was their testimony consistent. 

“Having arisen”? Mark uses this unusual word in his biography - anastantes. One is reminded, especially in early summer, of the way in which huge weeds arise on Jersey’s hedges, testifying to the power of ‘nature’. Human nature.

It seems that these are hoping that their testimony (about Jesus having stated that he would destroy the magnificent Jerusalem Temple) would please their authorities. In fact, Jesus did “destroy” the Temple - remove it as the former house of God - through his death and rising again. Three days later, he became the final, real, everlasting house. The actual building was destroyed forty years later in AD 70 when Jerusalem was razed to the ground.

And the high priest, arisen into the centre, questioned Jesus, stating, “You are not responding. What are these testifying against you?” But he was remaining silent and did not respond at all.

“Arisen”? Again. This time, it’s the high priest. He’s “arisen” to where he wants to be - in “the centre”. His approach to the problem (his problem and their problem regarding evidence) is to pretend to Jesus that what he and they have heard about him is absolutely overwhelming. But Jesus says nothing.

Again, the high priest questioned him and states to him, “You are the Christ, the son of the blessed one?” But Jesus said, “I am, and you will discern the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power, and coming with the clouds of the sky.” 

The accusation of the high priest against Jesus is confirmed by Jesus. What is remarkable is that this first piece of true testimony is unwittingly spoken by the high priest.  Jesus then states that all of them (the “you” is plural) "will discern" what will become two key confirmations of this true testimony. How? The death and resurrection of Jesus would, within weeks become the most powerful message the world has ever seen. And Jesus himself would, as he stated, come with “the clouds of heaven” to all who call upon his name. True indeed.

But the high priest, tearing his own garments, states, “What additional testifiers do we have need of? You heard the blasphemy. What lights you all?” So, they all condemned him to be deserving death.

Two unusual things here. First, “tearing his own garments”. This action was no doubt intended to alert the whole assembly as to the decision they must take. But it may also indicate the harm which he was doing to his own self. 

Second, “What lights you all?”  This unusual way to call for the required verdict leads one to think about whether the light within them was, in fact, darkness. Especially when one recalls that Peter, Jesus’ disciple, was “warming himself near the light” before (page 45) denying all knowledge of Jesus. Am I getting comfort from those who know that Jesus is a fraud?

And some began to spit on him and to cover his own face and to punch him and to state to him, “Prophesy!” And the attendants took him away with blows.

The actions of some of the members of this court disclose their inner “light”.

Sinner Syvret

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