In that cold place the only warmth is a coal fire with each individual warming himself and not others – despite appearing to stand together as one. Jesus’ death is intended to change that – for ever.
So the lead priest asked Jesus concerning his disciples and concerning his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I always taught in a synagogue and in the temple where all the Judeans - everyone - come together, and I spoke nothing in secret. Why ask me? Ask those having heard what I spoke to them! Look! These have discerned what I myself said.”
Annas is, in every way, the power behind the chief priestly throne. He questions Jesus. Jesus asks why – because in no way could Jesus’ answers to any questions be valid if he was only worthy of arrest, torture and death. By questioning Jesus, Annas reveals his own conviction about who Jesus is. How awful for him when Jesus points this out.
In fact, he himself having said these things, one of the standing officials gave a blow to Jesus, saying, “In that way do you answer the lead priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I spoke wrong things, testify concerning the wrong! If in fact rightly, why are you striking me?” So Annas sent him out, tied up, towards Caiaphas the chief priest.
The official has perceived the startling exposure of Annas. He responds with violent force towards Jesus, putting into action the intangible attitude of Annas, his boss, towards Jesus.
Jesus’ appeal is to right and wrong alone. Annas is in disarray, but forces (are permitted to) remain in his hands. Jesus in not the only one “tied up”.