At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, and they said, “Tell us, are You the Messiah?” But He replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe Me. And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand. ” They all shouted, “So, are You claiming to be the Son of God?” And He replied, “You say that I am.” “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard Him say it.”
In the last Gem I said: Note the parallel to the statement made the night before at the night trial — “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” It was this statement the night before which made the High Priest tear his robes. This statement is effectively repeated again in the dawn trial. This was a huge statement because Jesus is taking on His lips the Tetragrammaton – the four letters: the unmentionable name of God – YHWH. No wonder the High Priest was shocked to the point where he tore his robes.
Imagine yourself to be a member of the Sanhedrin. How you would react? They were both shocked and delighted I’m sure. Shocked at how brazen this One was to use the name of God related to Himself. But delighted that he has convicted himself again in their thinking. Note how this encounter starts off. They ask, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus words effectively mean, “There is no point us talking about it. You don’t believe Me when I tell you the truth and if I ask you questions to help you to see the Truth you don’t answer me because you know you will trap yourselves. We have played this game before. So let me tell you in another way.”
Matthew and Mark use the future tense in their record of Jesus statement
“I AM. [Mark] And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Luke changes to the text as recorded in Matthew and Mark to make it clearer and I believe to record the subtlety of Jesus’ words.
“From now on THE SON OF MAN will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.”
Note the change in terminology from MESSIAH to SON OF MAN. They then respond with “So, are You claiming to be the Son of God?” To which Jesus replies, “You say that I am.”
What is going on here? Luke’s phrase “from now on” subtlely suggests the significance of all that is to come from that point onward is according to the plans of Almighty God. Jesus is alluding to the fact that His death (that which they purpose) will usher Him into the presence of God and not only that but He will be seated at God’s right hand; the place of power. That which they know to be reserved for Messiah, but Jesus didn’t use the term Messiah. He used His favourite term “Son of Man”. Man as God fully intended him to be. He created Adam for relationship in Him. Adam was to be “in God” in terms of his relationship with the Almighty. Walking with Him as Jesus walked with Him. Only doing that which the Father willed. The term Son of Man is referring to how man (mankind) ought to behave in respect to God. This kind of relationship is for all men and women. Jesus uses the term for Himself as Messiah but to indicate the fulfillment and restoration of the Adamic covenant: that which was promised to Adam if he walked the way God intended him to walk.
Not only does this make it clear to the Sanhedrin what Jesus intended by His comment related to being seated at the right hand of God – the place of power and authority but there’s more intended. With the use of “from now on” Jesus makes it clear what He has in mind. He is looking not just to the time in the Millennium when Messiah will be seated with God ruling over all, but He includes His death and the miracle of Calvary in the grand scheme. From this point on, when you do what you want to do to Me, it is all part of God’s plan. You are working the work of God by killing me. Jesus is looking forward to the cross event, the resurrection, the ascension, the coronation, Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit, His Second Coming in the clouds, His appearing to all mankind before Judgement Day. In short the whole deal. It is all according to the purposes of God. The ultimate salvation of mankind is wrapped up in the events which will take place “from now on”. No wonder they react like they did. Now they all shout out, you are claiming to be the Son of God. You are claiming equality with God when you say these things. You are taking the meaning of Messiah far farther than we intend. Son of God means Messiah IS God. One like the Holy One of Israel. “Exactly, now you are getting it.”
They had no idea of how great Messiah was to be. Their idea of Messiah was some puny human being who would come in the Name of God and restore the Kingdom of Israel to its glory days of David’s Empire. How puny compared with what God intended! God had far more in mind. He was intent on restoring the whole of mankind to their rightful place as His sons and daughters, destined to take their place as His true children to rule over His creation. But they could only do that if they were restored to relationship with Almighty God – a relationship which had been severed in Adam. “From now on” it was going to be restored to all who would bow their knee and accept His rule in their lives – all who accept that the Son of Man / Son of God took their place and then who choose to live “in Christ”. This is an immense statement and a huge turn around in the thinking of the Sanhedrin, something they couldn’t do. Their preconceptions excluded them from the intentions of God.
Remember, I left you in the last Gem with the challenge to imagine you were one of those listening at the trial dawn trial. How do you react? Do your preconceptions of God and your idea of religion keep you from accepting His grace and His offer of salvation? Are you more intent on saving yourself by keeping the commandments and by doing it your way or are you willing to bow the knee and accept His right to rule in your life now? You too are on trial and pronounced guilty. There is only one way out; accept what Jesus has done for you. Stop thinking that by keeping the commandments you will get to heaven. You won’t. God’s standards are far higher than yours, no matter how high your standards are.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn’t come to destroy them, but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not one letter or one stroke of a letter will disappear from the Law until everything has been accomplished.Matthew 5:17-18
For I tell you, unless your righteousness greatly exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, ‘You must not murder,’ and ‘Whoever murders will be subject to punishment.’ But I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to punishment. And whoever says to his brother ‘Raka!’ will be subject to the Council. And whoever says ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hell fire.Matthew 5:20-22
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, anyone who stares at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.Matthew 5:27-28
Keeping the law won’t get you to heaven. The standard is too high. You are a guilty sinner. Confess it and accept Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension, coronation, His Holy Spirit (as a seal that you are a child of God), His Second Coming to take you to be with God if you are still living at the time of the end, and His willingness to confess you before the Father at the final trial (yours) to be that which saves you.
No wonder the Sanhedrin reacted like they did, preferring their preconceptions of God to the reality of why He sent His Son in human form. No, they didn’t need any other witnesses. He did enough for them by His statements of who He is. Just like you don’t need any other to save you. Salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For there is no other name under heaven by which you may be saved. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, no [person] comes to Father God, except by or through Jesus Christ. It’s so simple yet so challenging. So offensive to those who want to work their way to God.
Wow ponder this and take in the grandeur.
Almost all our faults are more pardonable than the methods we think up to hide them.F. LaRochefoucauld
Too many of us have become preoccupied with our material well-being. Instead of believing God for the salvation of our loved ones, we’re believing Him for houses, cars, holidays, and so on.Bob Gass
It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.Mark Twain
The Gospel does two things: It comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.David Pawson
God’s goal is not our comfort; it’s producing in us the character of Christ so the world will be drawn to Him.Ian Vail
God’s intention for you is that you confess your wrong doing and your tendency to live as though God wasn’t in charge and accept your right standing in God’s eyes because of what Christ has done for you.Ian Vail
Don’t then continuing sinning, that cheapens what Jesus did for you. Rather do good and live God’s way as your gift back to Him.Ian Vail