The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” (John 18:19-23)
The Doctrine Of Christ In Me
Following the arrest of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord was first brought before Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas the high priest. This preliminary examination was to gain proof of charges the Jews would use to present their case to the Roman authorities to have Jesus killed. There was no semblance of jurisprudence in these proceedings as the only goal desired by the fevered mob of Jewish leaders was the a sentence of death on Jesus. Annas was a powerful man among the Jews. He asked Jesus to tell him about the kind of people that followed Him and what was the basis of His teachings. This inquiry was only to gather information to be used against Jesus.
The Lord was always the master teacher. He utilized every situation to teach the will of His Father. Coming before Annas was no exception. In a rebuff of Annas’ ploy Jesus said that what He taught was never in secret and He never tried to hide anything He taught or said. The doctrine of Jesus was an open book. When He would come into a town or city with a synagogue the Lord would take His case to the Jewish teachers. His first encounter was twenty-one years earlier when at the age of twelve He challenged the teachers in the Temple.
Earlier the Jewish people had received Jesus into Jerusalem with a triumphant procession followed by the Lord driving out the merchants selling in the Temple. The story of Lazarus being raised from the dead still resounded in the ears of the chief priests and Pharisees. Nothing Jesus did was hidden from the people. His life was a testimony to the will of His Father. If they did not believe Him they could ask His followers. This angered one of the officers of the high priest and he struck Jesus with the palm of his hand. Jesus’ reply was simply to judge Him by what He said as either true or false. Having nothing to answer Annas sent the Lord bound to Caiaphas.
All the glory of the Father was found in the life of Jesus. The Jews killed Him because of their envy. Time and again the Jewish leaders sought for clear evidence against Jesus and the only answer the Lord gave was to look at His life and what He said. That was a powerful lesson for the people of that day. When Jesus died His Roman guard remarked, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” A life filled with words, deeds and example became the testimony of God the Father.
We will not live to the level of sinless perfection as Jesus did. He became the curse on the tree by His life so that we could live for the Father. In our imperfections we can still live in such a manner that when people speak against us as evil doers we still have a testimony of life that declares the Father. Peter admonishes his readers to live a life blameless before others to glorify God. The doctrine of my life should be a daily reflection of Christ living in me. My speech should always be a mirror of the word of God. My attitude should be measured by the love of God. The impression I leave upon those around me is the imprint of Christ. When people see me they do not see me they see God. To live like Christ is to know Christ. Immerse your life in the character of the Son of God and you will look just like His Father.
Someone has said … that the only Bible which millions of people read today is the daily example of Christians – your example and mine. (James E. Murray, Address, March 31, 1948)