Mark 14:51-65 Jesus Condemned By The Council.

Mark 14:51-65 Jesus Condemned By The Council.

Mark is the only gospel record which records a certain young man following Jesus who was clothed only in a linen cloth, which was torn off him by those who took Jesus, so that he fled away naked (vv. 51-52). “Some interpreters have suggested that in this cryptic detail, as in the mention of the linen garment (a sign of wealth), there might be a veiled reference to Mark himself, since he was from a well-to-do family in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12)” (NGSB 1593). The fact that he was alone, surrounded only by adversaries, would suggest that only Mark would have this information. If so, it is a self-effacing confession, at least to those who knew to whom he was referring. However, the real focus is on the apprehension and deliverance to the high priest, and the assembled “chief priests, the elders, and the scribes” (v. 53).

Clearly they had everything planned for this mock trial. However, Mark also makes note of Peter, whom it is believed he wrote for. Peter also followed Jesus, presumably farther than Mark had gotten, all the way to sitting with the servants in the courtyard, warming himself at the fire (v. 54). The council’s planning did however lack any credible witnesses to support charging Jesus with a capital crime (v. 55). The problem with employing false witnesses is the fact that they still must agree with each other, something these geniuses did account for (v. 56). The witnesses could not even agree on the charge that Jesus was going to destroy the temple and build another made without hands (vv. 57-59). Nevertheless, the high priest berated Jesus on why he would not answer this charge (v. 60).

“But He kept silent and answered nothing” (v. 61a). Instead the high priest got to the crux of the matter, “saying to Him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed’” (v. 61b)? This was ultimately why they would crucify Jesus, because He claimed to be God Himself – the “I am.” Furthermore, Jesus would refer back to the previous charge, when he said, “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (v. 62). This described, in apocalyptic form, what Mark had recorded regarding the destruction of the temple and the city, and the last days of the old covenant administration, with the inauguration of the new (Ch. 13). The claim to Deity was blasphemy for the high priest, and if it were not true it would have been (vv. 63-64a).

However, the unbelieving high priest, was the bearer of false witness here, and having heard the testimony and verdict of the high priest, those gathered condemned Jesus as the one deserving of death (v. 64b). Couched in the shameful activity which ensued, of spitting on the one who once used his own spit as a healing balm, and blindfolding him while they beat him, is the real crux of what was transpiring here. Jesus, as the Anointed One, was indeed regarded as a true prophet by many. The tests of a prophet were applied to him. His message was in harmony with the prophets of old, often referring to these prophets as witness to his own message of fulfillment and judgment to come. However, here they declare him to be false, because of his unique prophetic claim to Deity, for which he would be crucified.

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