Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXI: Learning To Carry A Defenseless Spirit When Persecuted For Our Spiritual Stand
(Mark 14:55-65)
  1. Introduction
    1. The Apostle Peter claimed that Jesus supplied an example of suffering for righteousness' sake that we should follow in His footsteps, 1 Peter 2:21-23.
    2. Jesus suffered both verbal and physical abuse for righteousness' sake, and He exampled for us what kind of spirit we are to have in facing such persecution for our spiritual stand in Mark 14:55-65:
  2. Learning To Carry A Defenseless Spirit When Persecuted For Our Spiritual Stand, Mk. 14:55-65.
    1. When Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin which wanted to put Him to death, He avoided defending Himself against unjust verbal incrimination though doing so could have been easily achieved, Mark 14:55-59:
      1. Though many were trying to bring false witness against Christ to condemn Him, they could not get two witnesses to agree together even to make the charges stick, Mark 14:55-56.
      2. On one occasion, two witnesses stood up with some partial truth to make a charge stick. They claimed that Jesus had said He would destroy the Jewish temple made with hands and construct another made without hands within three days, Ma rk 14:58.
      3. However, this charge, though based in a true statement Jesus had made, could have easily been knocked down by Jesus as follows:
        1. Jesus had claimed near the beginning of His ministry that if the Jews had destroyed this temple, meaning the temple of His earthly body, He would build it again in three days, John 2:19.
        2. Now, this claim had been made when the Jews were asking Jesus why He had cleansed the temple with the whip, an act designed to protect the earthly temple against apostate worship!
        3. Also, Jesus had never said anything about making the new temple without hands as though it were a non-material building: this charge by His enemies before the Sanhedrin was designed to make Jesus look like He was going to destroy the J ewish temple complex, period, and leave it in ruins!
        4. Besides, this statement by Jesus had been made 3 1/2 years before at the start of His ministry. If He had really then claimed to destroy the temple, why would charges be made now after such a long time as such a wait would discredit t he credibility of these witnesses?
        5. Yet, though this charge was based in a true statement of Jesus, the way the witnesses were bringing it left them inconsistent with one another, Mk. 14:59.
        6. Thus, Jesus could have referred to any one of these several defense explanations behind the charges to have undermined the charge and to have exonerated Himself.
    2. However, not only did Jesus not defend Himself, but He offered information that further clarified the truth and enraged His captors, leading to more reprisals from them, Mk. 14:60-65:
      1. The high priest asked Jesus if He would defend Himself from these charges in to try to get Jesus to incriminate Himself since the use of false witnesses was fruitless, Mark 14:60 (Ryrie St. B., KJV ftn.)
      2. When Jesus at first remained silent, showing His disinterest in self-defense, the High Priest asked Him point-blank if He was the Messiah in an effort to get Him incriminated by any kind of response or lack of it, Mark 14:61, Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 183.
      3. Jesus responded by giving His detractors as much ammunition as they could ask for, admitting that He was the Messiah, and would fulfill prophecy by sitting on the right hand of God as Messiah in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13, Mark 14:62.
      4. So overcome with rebellion were Christ's detractors, that the High Priest tore his clothes as though Jesus had blasphemed, the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to death, and they began to spit upon Jesus and blind and hit Him, mocking Him as being unable to prophecy as a Messiah who had hit Him, 14:63-65.
Lesson: If facing parties that are deeply opposed to the believer's stand to where they seek verbal attacks, the believer is not to seek to defend Himself, but TAKE what is dished out as an opportunity to suffer in the will of God. He should do so as a willing servant of God, knowing that doing so will produce eternal rewards, Mtt. 5:10-12; 1 Pet. 2:21-23.