Summary: This message is on three men who condemned Jesus to death. Annas, Herod and Pilate were all driven by different demons.

Annas, Herod, & Pilate

Billy Graham was invited to be honored at a luncheon in January 2000 in Charlotte, NC. He was in his 80’s with Parkinson’s disease at the time so he initially hesitated to accept the invitation.

But the Charlotte leaders said, "We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you." So he agreed.

Many wonderful things were said Dr. Graham, after which he stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, "I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

The conductor said, "Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it."

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, "Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one."

Einstein looked at him and said, "Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.’"

Having said that Billy Graham continued, "See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My wife, my children, and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion.

You know what that other occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this:

I not only know who I am ... I also know where I’m going."

I want to tell you today about three men who didn’t know who they were or where they were going. Each of these men was driven away from God because each was ruled by a desire that became a demon. Each of these men came face to face with Jesus on the day of his crucifixion.

We begin with a man named Annas…

Annas – The Demon of Power

Then the soldiers with their commander and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus. They tied him and led him first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

John 18:12-13

A little further in the text we read about the questioning of Jesus by Annas.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

Annas – The Demon of Power

The high priest asked Jesus questions about his followers and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to everyone. I have always taught in synagogues and in the Temple, where all the Jews come together. I never said anything in secret.”

John 18:19-20

Annas – The Demon of Power

“So why do you question me? Ask the people who heard my teaching. They know what I said.”

When Jesus said this, one of the guards standing there hit him. The guard said, “Is that the way you answer the high priest?”

John 18:21-22

Annas was the “godfather” of a Jewish mafia

Why Annas? Why would Jesus be brought to the father-in-law of the high priest?

Annas had been appointed by the Emperor of Rom to the High Priest for six or seven years; but then the office was filled by not five of his sons, by his son-in-law Caiaphas, and by a grandson.

And in those days it was, at least for one of like Annas it was much better to have been than to be High-Priest.

He enjoyed all the dignity of the office, and all its influence also, since he was able to promote to it those most closely connected with him. And, while his sons and son-in-law acted publicly, he really directed affairs, without either the responsibility or the constraints of being the High Priest.

Annas was the power behind the power and he wanted Jesus wasted.

He was influential with the Romans due to his religious connections and to his enormous wealth.

Annas was an eminently safe Churchman, not troubled with any special convictions nor with Jewish fanaticism, a pleasant and a useful man also, who was able to furnish his friends in the Prætorium with large sums of money.

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