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Oct 23 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Eighty-eight – Matthew 26:57-68

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” Matthew 26:64-66

At first, it looks like Jesus will give the high priest another ambiguous answer, “You have said it” or “So you say.” With this same expression, Jesus had and, at the same time, had not answered Judas (Mt. 26:25) and in a similar way he would soon respond to Pilate (Mt. 27:11). It is an answer that both reveals and conceals information.

But now, with the high priest, Jesus gives up the whole truth–at least enough for them to deliver a death sentence against him.

The high priest had phrased his question to Jesus using the same terms as Peter when he made his famous confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16; cf. 26:63). The sad irony is that now Peter would not even say Jesus’ name (vv. 69-74). The person to whom God had revealed Jesus’ identity is now denying that he knows him.

Jesus’ answer to the high priest was blasphemy only if it weren’t true. The high priest, however, did not pause for one second to weigh the possibility that Jesus was what he claimed to be. The Son of Man who would arrive in the clouds would not allow the council and their soldiers to spit on him, slap him around, and ridicule him. You cannot do that to someone who will one day be seated at the right hand of God. Or so he reasoned.

Lord and Savior, it is easy for us to see how wrong those people were who condemned You. What is more difficult for us to see is how we have misjudged You–by appearance, by the shape of our circumstances, and by Your silence. We have doubted Your love for us, Your concern and interest in our struggles. Our eyes have deceived us. You are more than we can grasp and You are doing more than we can see. From now on, when You ask us to trust You, give us grace to walk by faith and not by sight.

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