Participants: Kevin Hart, Tom Shepherd
Series Code: MBOTB
Program Code: MBOTB00012A
00:21 Welcome to Books of the Book.
00:23 Have you ever been to court?
00:24 You know court scenes can be a really fascinating
00:27 thing to watch, but if you are the one on trial
00:29 they can be quite scary.
00:31 I am privileged to have with me today Professor Tom
00:34 Shepherd, he is a professor at Andrews University
00:36 and he teaches New Testament interpretation.
00:39 Welcome Professor.
00:40 Good, good to be with you.
00:41 Let me ask you the question,
00:42 have you ever been to court?
00:43 You know, I have, fortunately I haven't had any court
00:47 cases other than minor traffic violation type of things.
00:50 Well somebody hit the back of my car one time when
00:54 I stopped too short.
00:55 But one time I was asked to be a character witness.
00:59 There was a church member who son had committed a very
01:03 serious crime and unfortunately I had not met the young
01:07 man before he was placed in jail and was on trial.
01:12 I was asked to go in there and give this character
01:16 witness for him of what I can say about him.
01:18 They swore me in and it was all very serious business.
01:22 After I done the character witness and other people
01:25 had spoken in his favor, it was the day of sentencing
01:28 actually, and I decided I would wait to see what
01:31 happened, like you say kind of fascinating,
01:34 interesting to watch.
01:35 I remember the judge making his decision and the
01:39 young man was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
01:43 I was like this is very, very serious.
01:47 Well today we are going to take a look at the story
01:51 and trial of Jesus.
01:52 Also we will look at the scene of His crucifixion.
01:56 The climax of the story of gospel of Mark,
02:00 in the death of Jesus, so we want to dive right into
02:02 these passages.
02:04 In Mark 14:53-72 we have the trial of Jesus and the
02:12 denial by Peter.
02:13 This is the last of the 6th of the sandwich stories in
02:16 Mark and so it also has that interesting characteristic,
02:20 but here we have the trial of Jesus.
02:21 I'll start reading in verse 53-65, then you take 66-72.
02:26 "They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the
02:30 chief priests and the elders and scribes gathered
02:34 together. Peter had followed Him at a distance right
02:37 into the courtyard of the high priest. He was sitting
02:41 with the officers and warming himself at the fire.
02:44 Now the chief priests and the whole console kept trying
02:47 to attain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death
02:50 and they were not finding any. For many were giving
02:54 false testimony against him, but their testimony was
02:57 not consistent. Some stood up the given to give false
03:00 testimony against him saying, we heard him say I will
03:03 to destroy this temple made with hands and in three
03:06 days I will build another made without hands.
03:09 Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent.
03:13 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned
03:16 Jesus saying, do you not answer, what is it that these
03:20 men are testifying against you? But he kept silent and
03:23 did not answer.
03:25 Again the high priest was questioning him and saying to
03:29 him, are you the Christ the son of the Blessed one? And
03:32 Jesus said, I am. And you shall see the Son of Man
03:36 sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the
03:40 clouds of heaven.
03:41 Tearing his clothes the high priest said, what further
03:45 need do we have of witnesses, you have heard the
03:49 blasphemy. How does it seem to you? And they all
03:52 condemned him to be deserving of death. Some began to
03:56 spit at him and they blindfold him and beat him with
04:00 their fists and to say to him prophesy, and the
04:03 officers received him with slaps in the face.
04:06 Kevin: "And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there
04:10 cometh one of the maids of the high priest: and when
04:13 she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him,
04:16 and said, and thou also wast a with Jesus of Nazareth.
04:19 But he denied saying, I know not, neither understand
04:23 I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch:
04:26 and the cock crew.
04:28 And the maid saw him again, and began to say to them
04:31 that stood by. This is one of them. And he denied it
04:34 again. And a little after, they that stood by said
04:38 again to Peter, surely thou art one of them: for thou
04:41 art at Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
04:45 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not
04:49 this man of whom ye speak.
04:51 And the second time that cock crew. And Peter called
04:54 to mind the word that Jesus said unto him. Before the
04:57 cock crowed twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
05:01 And when he thought they are on, he wept. "
05:04 Is this a fair trial? What's going on here?
05:07 Tom: well that is a good question.
05:09 In the gospel of Mark there are actually two trials
05:11 of Jesus, this one is the Jewish trial.
05:14 Then over in chapter 15 there is the Roman trial.
05:18 The Romans were the ones who had the authority to impose
05:21 the death sentence, which was sought in this case.
05:24 So the Jewish trial in the sense was preliminary,
05:28 but he is brought before the high priest,
05:31 with a number of charges.
05:33 Now the way the gospel of Mark describes it,
05:35 it doesn't come across as fair at all.
05:38 Over and over again he talks, if you notice there,
05:41 false testimony, witnesses saying false things,
05:45 but their testimony isn't consistent.
05:48 So the people wonder about the fairness or the
05:53 legality of this kind of trial.
05:55 Now, one of the things that we have to remember is that
05:58 their legal system was not like our legal system.
06:03 Kevin: right!
06:04 Tom: each country has its own legal system, its own
06:07 rules that have developed over time.
06:11 They have particular kinds of legal ways
06:14 that they did things.
06:16 Now it is interesting that the legal kind of codes
06:20 that would go for a Jewish trial are codified or written
06:24 down in the book called the Mishnah, which was
06:27 compiled about 200 A.D.
06:30 So that is after the time of Jesus but still it
06:34 contains traditions that go back to an earlier time.
06:37 Looking at that there are number of characteristics
06:40 about this trial, if, if was said in the Mishnah were
06:44 applicable at the time of Jesus.
06:46 So that is a certain assumption we might make,
06:48 which may or may not hold true.
06:50 But if we compare with what is in the Mishnah,
06:53 with what goes on here there is a list of a number
06:56 of things that are irregular that don't seem to fit.
06:59 We have a graphic that shows these irregularities
07:01 about the trial.
07:02 According to the Mishnah no trial was to take place
07:09 on the eve of the feast day.
07:11 Of course this was Passover time and so that would
07:16 seem to be incorrect.
07:18 Capital cases, that is a case that could be a death
07:22 penalty case, was to be tried in the daytime and not
07:26 at night to prevent, which you might call, a kangaroo
07:30 court, where they were rail-roading a person through
07:34 to get them tried.
07:35 Of course Jesus' trial was at night, right!
07:38 Three capital cases where to begin with reasons for
07:42 acquittal, why this person should not be put to death.
07:46 Jesus' trial doesn't seem to have any of that at all.
07:50 Then another concept the testimony of witnesses who
07:55 contradict one another was to be nullified and
08:00 not to be accepted.
08:02 Of course it seems as though some of this testimony
08:05 gets accepted, though you could argue when it says that
08:09 their testimony didn't agree, that they had to see
08:13 seek more evidence in order to try Jesus.
08:16 another point, judges could not be witnesses in the
08:20 same trial, but this seems like they do because the high
08:23 priest says, you heard the testimony what do you think?
08:28 So now they become witnesses and he is given testimony
08:33 against Himself by His statement.
08:34 And finally a unanimous vote to condemn
08:37 nullifies the conviction.
08:39 Now we might think that that was a little bit strange
08:42 that a unanimous vote would nullify the conviction,
08:46 but the idea was again, we don't have a kangaroo court
08:50 going on here and so we want to make sure that
08:53 everything is exactly the way it should be.
08:56 And if they all voted against Him...
08:57 Kevin: it would almost seem fishy, right?
08:59 Tom: it must be that He was innocent.
09:01 Kevin: right!
09:02 There seem to be a number of characteristics about
09:06 this trial that don't add up correctly.
09:09 The trial seems however to be getting nowhere as it
09:13 progresses they bring their testimony against Jesus
09:17 and they talk about Him wanting to destroy the temple,
09:21 that's never mentioned earlier in the gospel of Mark.
09:26 And here they just can't get there testimony together.
09:29 The high priest finally comes forward and wants to
09:32 close to deal, he asked, Jesus aren't you going to
09:35 answer, they are testifying all these
09:37 things against you?
09:39 Jesus says nothing, so it really looks bad like they
09:43 are going to fail and what they want to do.
09:46 But then the high priest keeps on and he says,
09:48 are you the Christ, the Son of the best Blessed One?
09:51 Now, this is the point in the gospel of Mark,
09:55 actually throughout Mark we have not seen very many
09:59 times that a person will call Jesus the Messiah.
10:02 The high priest here is directly questioning Him.
10:05 Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?
10:08 That is the Son of God.
10:09 So he is using messianic kind of titles and Jesus says,
10:15 I am and He doesn't stop there, He says you will see
10:20 the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, that's the
10:22 right hand of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
10:25 This is a quotation from the book of Daniel chapter 7
10:27 of the Son of Man, in Daniel 7:13-14.
10:30 That is just like to the highest exalted position
10:35 that you can have.
10:36 Here He is being tried as a criminal and yet He is
10:41 making this claim to be exalted, the Messiah, the
10:45 Christ, the Son of God coming with the clouds of heaven,
10:49 and the high priest just cannot take it.
10:51 Tears his clothes and says, what do you think, this is
10:55 blasphemy and He deserves death.
10:57 Then they begin to spit on Him, cover His face, give Him
11:02 blows, they have made their decision as to what will be
11:06 the outcome with Jesus.
11:08 Now at this point of the trial, suddenly shifts back to
11:18 the story of Peter.
11:20 Kevin: now why didn't Peter come to the trial?
11:23 Tom: it's a good question.
11:25 You know in the garden of Gethsemane, everybody fled.
11:29 They had this young man and they grabbed onto him and he
11:33 was were just like when a linen sheet or something, like
11:37 he just got out of bed, and grab hold of him and he
11:40 slips from their hands and runs away naked.
11:42 One scholar said, that was leaving all to flee from
11:46 Jesus, instead of leaving all to follow Jesus, it was
11:50 leaving all to flee from Jesus.
11:51 So that Peter would follow doesn't seem to make a
11:56 whole lot of sense, but remember he had made claim,
12:02 he said to Jesus if everybody else denies you, not me,
12:09 I'm ready to die with you.
12:11 I'm not going to leave off following you, so probably
12:16 this kind of ideal was like ringing in his ears.
12:17 Kevin: it could have been part of his motive.
12:19 Yeah and like pushing him forward, he follows but he
12:23 follows at a distance.
12:25 He wants to stay safe so he doesn't get up real close to
12:30 Jesus, so he is not really following you might say and
12:34 it gets him in trouble.
12:35 If we go back to the beginning of the story in verse 53,
12:39 Jesus is led away after He is arrested in the Garden of
12:43 Gethsemane and then in verse 54.
12:45 "Peter had followed Him at a distance right into the
12:49 courtyard of the high priest and he was sitting with the
12:53 officers and warming himself at the fire. "
12:56 Now this would be a cooler time of the night, it was
13:01 after midnight and you can get cold and maybe even given
13:06 the indication that he wasn't somebody else, he was part
13:10 of crowd, he comes in by the fire.
13:13 Actually interesting enough, when it says fire here in
13:18 Mark 14:54, the Greek word is not the usual word for fire.
13:24 The usual word is 'pura' from which we get the words
13:28 like pyrotechnic at stuff like that.
13:30 This word was the word 'phos' from which we get the word
13:34 phosphorus, the word for light.
13:37 So he was warming himself toward the light, the light
13:42 of the fire and of course it's this light that is going
13:47 to give him away.
13:49 They could see his face and the slave girl is going
13:52 to take a look, and look at him closely and see
13:55 him in the light.
13:57 So in seeking to stay away from Jesus, and
14:00 be a little bit hidden.
14:01 Kevin: he actually ended up exposing himself.
14:02 Tom: he ended up exposed himself.
14:03 Kevin: now we're going to take a break, but we are
14:05 going to take a break here because Peter swore
14:07 something and I want you it shed some light on that.
14:09 Tom: Yeah!
14:10 So why don't we take a quick break, do not go away,
14:12 You're watching Books Of The Book,
14:14 We hope to see you shortly.