Author: Johnson Chiu, Pastor, Dr., Faith Walk Community Church, San Ramon
Asian Director, The Leadership Connection, Concord
Coordinator, Equipping Resource Center, ISAAC, Castro Valley
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” 70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.” 71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” (Luke 22:66-71, NIV)
The chief priests and teachers of the law should know better. Drowned by their own self-interests and protective of their own agendas, they test Jesus rather than trust him. He does not fit their picture of a messiah. To them he is a mere man, lowly, without rank, position or power, a carpenter gone amok, meddling in religious issues he has no business. “If you are the Christ, tell us” they demand of Jesus. The question is not backed by honest inquiry but filled with doubt, disdain and deception. They wait for what they want to hear not what they need to hear; they long for his answer, in order to accuse and self-validate.
Jesus knows the duplicity of their hearts, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer.” He is gracious, answers plainly and offers a glimpse of his identity, “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” If they believed this, then they truly would have understood. As it is, they pounce on his statement and accusingly ask again, “Are you then the Son of God?” Giving them another opportunity to believe, he answers, “You are right in saying I am.”
At this, the attributing of God’s Name, “I Am” to him, they jump up and together shout, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” Ironically, the words they want to hear are the ones we need to hear; these are the words we have longed to hear! Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips! “You are right in saying I am!”
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior