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Jesus Before the High Priests
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Christ Before Caiaphas by Mattias Stom high resolution
Christ Before Caiaphas by Mattias Stom, 1630

Mark 14, Matthew 26, Luke 22, John 18

When the disciples of Jesus saw that he would not allow them to fight for him, they did not know what to do. In their sudden alarm they all ran away, and left their Master alone with his enemies. These men laid their hands on Jesus, and bound him, and led him away to the house of Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people of the high priest.


There were at that time two men called high priests by the Jews. One was Annas, who had been high priest until his office had been taken from him by the Romans, and given to Caiaphas, his son-in-law. But Annas still had great power among the people, and they brought Jesus, all bound as he was, first before Annas.

Annas, in the inner room, asked Jesus about his disciples and teaching. Jesus answered him, "What I have taught has been open in the synagogues and in the Temple. Why do you ask me? Ask those that heard me. They know what I said." Then one of the officers struck Jesus on the mouth, saying to him, Is this the way that you answer the high priest? Jesus answered the officer calmly and quietly, "If I have said anything evil, tell what the evil is. But if I have spoken the truth, why do you strike me?" Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.


From the house of Annas the enemies of Jesus led him away bound to the house of Caiaphas, whom the Romans had lately made high priest. There all the rulers of the Jews were called together, and they tried to find men who would swear that they had heard Jesus say some wicked thing. This would give the rulers an excuse for putting Jesus to death. But they could find nothing. Some men swore one thing, and some swore another, but their words did not agree.

Finally the high priest stood up, and said to Jesus, who stood bound in the middle of the hall, Have you nothing to say? What is it that these men are speaking against you? But Jesus stood silent, answering nothing. The the high priest spoke again, Are you the Christ, the Son of God?

And Jesus said, "I am. And the time shall come when you will see the Son of man sitting on the throne of power and coming in the clouds of Heaven." These words made the high priest very angry. He said to the rulers, Do you hear these dreadful words? He says that he is the Son of God. You have heard the blasphemy.

They all said, with one voice, He deserves to be put to death. Then the servants of the high priest and the soldiers that held Jesus began to mock him. They spat on him, and they covered his face, and struck him with their hands, and said, "If you are a prophet, prophesy."

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