Day 91: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 91: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

In our devotions, we watched Jesus in Gethsemane, seeing how he controlled the events for redemptive ends.  We noted ‘supreme’ attributes he exhibited: knowledge (John 18:4); courage (18:4); power (18:5); ethics (18:7); love (18:8); obedience (18:11); submissiveness (18:12).  “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (1:29).

Soldiers took Jesus from Gethsemane: First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. (18:13). We’ll see that Jesus had six illegal trials: 3 were religious trials; 3 were civil trials.  The religious trials were before: Annas, then Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin; the civil trials before: Pilate, Herod, Pilate. These trials were illegal.  Roman and Jewish law stated that no court was held after dark, one could not have multiple trials in one day, the accused had the opportunity to face and question his accusers, one could not tie/bind the accused without charges, one could not hit the accused without a verdict.  Jesus’ civil rights were trampled, yet his character did not change.

Who was Annas?  He was the power behind the scenes.  He was like a Mafia godfather.  He was the High Priest from 6 – 15 A.D. Of the next six High Priests four were his sons, one his grandson, one son-in-law.  Romans sold the office to the highest bidder – each year.  The High Priest’s office was supposed to be a life-time appointment by the Lord from the tribe of the Levites. It was not to given away or sold.  Read Exod. 40:15; Numbers 35:25.

Annas managed Temple finances.  He was immensely wealthy because he perverted the sacrificial system.  He arranged the sale of animals for sacrifice, currency exchanging, authenticating animals as fit for sacrifice, etc.  Animals brought by worshippers had to be inspected by the priests.  Few passed inspection, thus worshippers had to buy animals at exorbitant prices, at the Temple – hence, Jesus and the money changers.

Twice Jesus cleaned out the Temple of these scoundrels: John 2:13 -16; Matt. 21:12ff.  Jesus cost Annas a pile of cash – and like a godfather he held a grudge. John revealed the supreme attributes of Jesus, versus the corruption of those who should be spiritually mature.  Did you think Jesus was meek and mild?  He was — and a tiger.  He didn’t back down. The Israeli Mob meets Dirty Harry.

Interestingly, the Jews hated Annas.  He was a sellout to the hated Romans.  In the Talmud, Jewish writings of rabbis, it was noted about Annas: “Woe to the house of Annas, woe to their serpent’s kiss.  They are high priests, their sons are keepers of the treasury; sons-in-law are guardians of the Temple.  They beat the people with staves.” The Talmud also notes: “They brought destruction of Israel.’  They headed the: ‘Bloody Sanhedrin;’ the Jewish supreme court.  Jesus butted heads with them.  They owned law-enforcement, and politicians. They made the Mafia look like choirboys.

John now switches the focus from Jesus to Peter.  This might seem odd, but there is a reason. John contrasts Peter’s behavior with Jesus’ behavior.  We’ll see that Peter is pensive and afraid, a turnabout from his foolish boldness in Gethsemane.

Simon Peter followed Jesus… (Jn. 18:15).  That’s good, right? And Peter was following him at a distance… (Matt. 26:58).  Okay, not very nervy. He’s with another disciple, who entered the Priest’s compound – enemy territory.  Where’s Peter? But Peter stood outside at the door. (Jn. 18:16).  No Medal of Honor here.  Many wondered who the other disciple was, since his name was not given.  He probably was not one of the twelve. Think of Joseph of Arimethaea.  Twice Joseph was called a disciple (Lk. 23:50,51; John 19:38).  He was also a member of the Sanhedrin, and wealthy. He asked Pilate for Jesus’ body, and buried him in his burial tomb. He had access to the location of the trial.

Peter entered the High Priest’s courtyard where there are scores of soldiers – the ones he wanted to fight earlier. He gets confronted: The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”  (Jn. 18:17).  The least fearsome of all the people there confronts Peter, a girl. Will he act with the courage?  Will Peter mirror Jesus?  He said, “I am not.” (Jn. 18:17). Squish.  Remember Jesus in Gethsemane? “I am.” (18:5).  Peter deceives who he is, Jesus confirmed who he is.

Peter wanted to be with the Lord.  He loved the Lord.  But he also wanted to hide his relationship, even denying knowing Jesus.  How about you?  Are you like Peter?

What’s Peter’s next step? Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. (18:18).  Peter found camaraderie with those who were ambivalent or who hated Christ.  He became comfortable with them.  No giving his testimony, here.

John switches scenes.  Back to Jesus.  The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. (18:19).  Here’s an irony.  The Judge of Man, was before a judge of men. The Father …has given all judgment to the Son (5:22).  Who should be judging?  Annas or Jesus? Jesus should and will be judging Annas.

How will the Lord judge? The LORD…comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness… (Ps. 96:13).  Righteousness is behavior. One conforms to moral good – like the Law. Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. (Jer. 22:3).  According to this, Annas should be indicted and tried. He certainly will be indicted in eternity.

We’ll see that Jesus controls the circumstances before Annas. Annas assumes he’s in charge, demanding information from Jesus he is not entitled to. He was looking for information to indict Jesus, and Jesus immediately confronts him and puts him in his place. You will be very impressed with Jesus.  The highest religious leader in the nation was succinctly put in his place, not with malice, but logic, and morality – by a rabbi/carpenter.

Crisis reveals character.  Jesus stands forth like a shining star.  He is not merely a man.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your Son and his example.  You give us new understanding about Jesus’ glories, and we are awed by his sublime character.  His character is what you expect us to reflect: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… (Rom. 8:29).  Help us understand that we can implement these characteristics, not by power, but by submission: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works… (Eph. 2:10).  You are the Master Craftsman, the Artist who shapes in us the character of your Son.  Help us to conform.  Help us understand that you shape the image of Jesus into our life, and that we receive, then act with that character.

Then as we spiritually mature Father, give us opportunities to reveal that character.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 5:16).  We don’t have to strive, help us just to – be.  Let the glories of Jesus shine through us.  Father, much of this is mysterious to us. Enable us to simply live as believers, so those who watch us, see Jesus.  Help our desires become yours. May our goals be yours. Let our lives be yours.  Then reveal your character to the world, because it shines in us.  May you get all the glory for your goodness to us.  We pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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