Sermons

Summary: The trial of Jesus

The trial before Pilate John 18:28-40

A lady was so lonely she decided to go to the local pet store and see if she could find some little animal to keep her company. The owner of the store convinced her that what she needed was a parrot. He said, “They’re very expensive but they’re also very talkative, so you’ll never feel like you’re alone again.” And he assured her that once the bird felt at home, she would have a friend for life, considering that parrots live to be about seventy-five years old. So, she paid for the bird and then also bought a large cage to keep it in.

A week later she went back to the store and the owner said, “Is he talking yet?” “Not one word” she said. “He hasn’t said a thing.” So, the owner asked, “Did you buy him a mirror? You know, they say when parrots see themselves the words just start to flow.” And hoping that might help she bought the parrot a little mirror and stuck it in his cage. A couple of weeks went by and he still hadn’t say a thing so she went back to the store to complain. The storekeeper said, “Did you get him a ladder? You know, parrots need to feel comfortable and once he walks up and down the ladder a few times I’m sure he’ll begin to talk freely.” She decided it was worth the extra expense so she bought the ladder and put that in the cage beside the mirror.

The end of the next week found her back at the pet shop again, grim faced and disappointed with the same complaint. It’s been over a month now and he still hasn’t said a word. “Well,” the man said, “Did you buy a swing for the cage?” “No, she said, but I did get a mirror and a ladder.” Well, he talked her into the swing which she took home and attached to the cage with everything else.

And then three days later she came storming in, slammed the door and demanded to talk to the manager. I mean, she was really mad. When he saw her he asked about the parrot and she said, “He’s dead. He died this afternoon.” “Died” he said. “Why they’re supposed to live for seventy-five years. I just don’t understand. Did he ever say anything at all?” “Yes” she said, “He said a few words as he breathed his last.” “Well, what did he say” the owner asked? And she said, he just asked a simple question, “Don’t they sell any pet food at that store?”

I listen to sermons on my IPod every day and I download about a hundred at a time from churches all over Canada and the United States and many of the messages that I listen to are nothing more than mirrors, ladders and swings. And they’re given at churches which intend to appease the hungry souls who come but all these people are really given is empty promises as they’re told not to worry because things will get better tomorrow. Aren’t you glad that you go to a church where the Bible is believed and taught? Where we hear messages that not only prepare us face life but death as well?

Today, I want to begin by going back and wrapping up the section I was dealing with last day and then I hope I that I can finish this particular portion that deals with Pilate.

Now, the words, “while this was happening,” in verse 19 are significant because as I told you last week John is telling us about two events that are both happening at the same time and these are the questioning of Peter by the various people who are gathered around the fire and Jesus’ interrogation by Annas which took place across the courtyard. And John alternates between one scene and the other in order to compare Jesus’ response to the questions He faces to those which are asked of Peter. And we all know that Jesus not only refuses to answer Annas’ questions but He refers Him to those who heard Him but on the other hand Peter can’t seem to keep him mouth shut and he blabs all over the courtyard that he never met Jesus and hasn’t got a clue about who this Jesus is.

And so, we’ll begin with Jesus before Annas and the very nature of the questions that were asked by Annas show us what he was really concerned about because in verse 19 it says, “The high priest therefore questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching.” And so it was obvious that the real issue behind the trial of Jesus was one of jealousy. The Jewish religious leaders were jealous of His prestige, His popularity, and no doubt even of His miraculous power. And so Annas asked Him first about His disciples because I think he was more concerned about the number of people who were following Jesus than what He was actually teaching.

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