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Beautiful Words Blog | Enough for What? by Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship

Woman questioning what she believes about God's character, sitting in a coffee shop drinking coffee looking out a window

Text: Mark 14:63

Tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?

Thesis: There are sufficient witnesses: the response reveals what one chooses to believe.

Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin is a fascinating study in several areas of human behavior and interaction. It is of course rich in theology--our Lord manifesting His deity in the dramatic confession, “I am.” This made all the more sure by, "and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the Right Hand of Power.”

And then there are the words of the High Priest, His rhetorical question, “What further need do we have of witnesses?” It’s interesting in how we reach our decisions, especially the really important ones.

It was obvious that this decision, what they would do with the Galilean preacher, was a big one. The crowds were captivated by His teaching. The stories of His miracles were too many to ignore. His boldness in confronting religious authority made it absolutely necessary to act, but to act how? The Chief Priest and his associates had already decided that this man had to die, but how to do it and look innocent in the affair?

So Jesus was arrested, charged with blasphemy, and brought to trial. The question was simple, did He claim to be God? If so, the death penalty would follow.

Witnesses were brought forward, each in turn, describing how the radical street preacher had violated the Law. Each came up short. Their testimonies were in conflict. They conflicted even when they were saying things that were essentially true like, “He said, “I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” If they were confused about the details they got the essential story right.

So why didn’t they agree? Why did their stories conflict? Maybe they hadn’t actually been there, and their words were really just gossip. Maybe they were there but hadn’t been listening carefully enough. Maybe it was a simple matter of David’s prayer of Psalm 51:9 finding fulfillment,

Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Either way, their testimony wasn’t enough. So Jesus was pressed for an answer, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” What an amazing irony, too pious to use His name, so they called The Creator “the Blessed One,” even as they willfully defiled His Only Begotten Son.

And the Savior answered, “I am”. Jesus was affirming that He was the One Who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He was the One Who led Israel out of bondage, through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. He was and is and will be. So the Chief Priest

declared that they had heard enough, they didn’t need any more witnesses, they had sufficient evidence to act.

But enough evidence to act how? To do what? To believe? Clearly, not enough for the Sanhedrin. But the evidence of the past three years had convinced thousands. Multitudes had believed in Him. Many had left all to follow Him. It just wasn’t enough to convince the religious authorities, and it wasn’t enough to convince them because they weren’t looking for it. They weren’t looking for evidence to believe but to condemn, which they didn’t have until Jesus declared, “I am.”

The evidence to believe was there. It had been for some time. It was more than sufficient, but it wasn’t what they were looking for.

When the High Priest asked, “What further need do we have of witnesses?” His question revealed more about himself than the One on trial. He had wanted evidence, and now he had it. The High Priest was a condemned man, convicted by his own questions.

Which is where this speaks to us. How often are we “convicted by our questions?” What do the things we ask for say about us? This isn’t about praying for the things we need. That privilege is ours, we are instructed to do just that in the Lord’s Prayer. This is about the times we question God--demand proof of His goodness, character, or love. “Prove to me You are Who You say You are!” says more about us, regardless of His answer. “Show me that You love me,” reveals a flaw not in His Love, but in ours, and of our faith.

There’s an old saying, “Be careful what you ask for.” We need to ask God for the things we need. He wants us to do that, to trust in Him. But we need to be careful when our questions call His character into question. That doesn’t get us very far.


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