18:19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. 21 Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.”
22 When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?”
23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” 24 So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Have you noticed how dysfunctional this is so far? Jesus has been arrested without any charges being laid and how He has been brought before the father-in-law of the high priest. He makes no charge against Him either. Rather he asks vague questions about His disciples and His teachings.
What is really happening here?
Jesus responds by saying all His teaching has been public and He has nothing to hide. An officer strikes Him in the face essentially for being rude even though He wasn't. Then Jesus asks a telling question: "If I have spoken wrongly tell Me and if I haven't why did you strike Me?"
What is the response? Annas sends Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Again what is really happening here?
Arrested with no charge by officers and soldiers yet taken to a religious leader. The religious leader lays no charge but instead tries to get Jesus talking. When that doesn't work He is struck. Finally since Annas can get nowhere He ships Him off to the High Priest.
Do you see it? They want Jesus dead but they have no legal cause. They have done the easy part which was to apprehend Him; easy because He never tried to resist. He never resisted because the time for the Lamb to die had come.
The problem from the perspective of the religious leaders is that even though they want Him dead and even though He is not resisting they have no cause, which makes them murderers if they proceed. Annas does not know what to do so He passes Jesus off to someone else.
Several years after high school was over I learned from my brother that one of his friends couldn't stand me when we were in school. I barely knew this person. In fact it took my brother a bit to describe him and help me figure out who he was talking about. The guy was in a different grade and we had no shared friends or common interests. How could he have disliked me so much? It turns out that he really liked a girl who I was great friends with. I was guilty by circumstance. He wanted to be positioned where I was positioned.
Do you see it now? Jesus was not guilty of anything. He was simply hated for being positioned where He was. Just by being Himself Jesus was winning the turf war against false religion, control of the masses, and the entire corrupt system that Judaism had become. His weapons of warfare were kindness, love, mercy, healing, and equality.
Truly He was an enemy... but an enemy they couldn't press a single charge against. Tomorrow we'll find out what happens next. And remember this, sometimes being a nice person and doing the right thing will create enemies. It is counter intuitive but true all the same.