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Summary: The enemies and the disciples of Jesus are in denial

Message

John 18:12-27

Everyone Is In Denial

Have you ever looked at a situation and thought to yourself, “That’s just wrong!!”.

(I had supporting pictures on the data presentation)

There are all sorts of situations that fit into the “That’s just wrong” category … aren’t there.

Some of these situations are funny, but some are more serious.

Blank Screen.

Poverty.

Injustice.

Inequity.

Human Rights Abuse.

The list goes on and on doesn’t it.

Today we are going to look at something else that is so wrong. Specifically the way that a number of different people respond to their connections with Jesus.

Read John 18:12-27

Notice how the two stories are mixed together.

First we are told that the arrested Jesus is taken to Annas.

Then Peter’s first denial.

Then Annas has a go at Jesus.

The Peter’s other denials.

John has set this up for a reason. He wants us to realise that somehow there is a connection between what is happening between Jesus and Annas … and what is happening between Jesus and Peter.

The connection point is this:- Annas and Peter are in Denial.

How Annas is in Denial

Notice that the text says Annas was the father-in-law of the High Priest.

However we also know that, about 15 years earlier, Annas was the High Priest.

To be the high priest was a was a very special calling. Firstly only those who were a direct descendent of Aaron – the brother of Moses – who was the first high priest.

So it wasn’t a job that just anyone could take.

It was also a job that came with a very significant responsibility – a responsibility which happened on the day of atonement.

This happened once a year.

Going into the Most Holy Place – to sprinkle blood on the Atonement Seat (expand)

- He had to dress a certain way; there are very exact instructions.

- He had to offer a series of sacrifices; following a very precise procedure.

- The sacrificial goat and scapegoat.

What was the purpose?

Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites (Lev 16:34)

It was like a reset button – it was as if no sin existed.

So you can imagine that the person who had this responsibility was one who was respected.

A holy man among holy men.

One who had great wisdom.

Knowledgeable in the Scriptures.

Able to make sound judgements.

But this is not how Annas is acting.

First Annas is not the High Priest any more.

Perhaps he should have been because, according to Numbers 35:25, a High Priest was appointed for life. But Annas was removed from his position by the Roman authorities. However Annas still had a lot of power.

Some people believe he was wrongly removed so they still listened to him.

And Annas made sure that five of his sons, and Caiaphas his son in law, had the office of high priest.

Between them they held the high priest office for 40 years.

It’s wrong. It is a power trip.

Annas is in denial about his right to serve as a representative of the high priest. He shouldn’t even be involved in the process.

But here they are – Jesus arrested and bound and standing before Annas.

Annas thinks he is the big man on the block.

Soon a lot of people are going to get a big surprise.

And John just gives a little hint about what is going to happen.

Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

John 18:14

When did Caiaphas do this? Look up John 11:45-53.

Caiaphas is just as much in denial. Thinking that the death of one will resolve their problems.

Well it does.

But not in the way anyone expects.

So Annas is in denial and Caiaphas is in denial.

But that isn’t all.

Peter is in denial.

(How Peter is in Denial)

Peter is such an enigma as a disciple.

One moment he is climbing out of the boat and walking on water – the next he is swimming with the fish.

One moment he is saying Jesus you are the Christ, the Son of the living God … the next moment Jesus is telling Peter – you remind me a lot of Satan.

One moment he is faithfully declaring Even if everyone falls away, I will not … the next he is denying Jesus three times.

Peter’s life just seems to be a continual series of faith face-plants.

Getting up – falling over.

Getting up – falling over.

Getting up – falling over.

With this latest event being the worst. Indeed it is such a large stumble that every single Gospel writer tells us about it.

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