Jesus' Trial

By Genelle Austin-Lett

Categories: Easter (Passion Week), Jesus


Why was Jesus brought before Annas who was an ex-high priest with no authority?
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According to the historian Josephus, Annas was highly regarded since five of his sons and a grandson succeeded him as high priest. To appearances, he was the most influential member of the high priestly family. Another explanation is that the Sanhedrin had not yet arrived. It was about 11:00 PM and the Sanhedrin's 70 members didn't arrive until about 1:00 AM. They needed to take Jesus some place, so why not to Annas? The more plausible explanation is found in the Talmud. It says, "Woe to the house of Annas! Woe to their serpent's hiss! They are High Priests; their sons are keepers of the treasury; their sons-in-law are guardians of the Temple; and their servants beat the people with staves." The bazaars of Annas were the tents of the money changers and of those who sold doves in the Temple. Jesus had put a dent in Annas' profits by whipping the money changers out of the temple. Annas just wanted an opportunity to get even.

The questioning of Jesus by Annas was against the law. Jewish law prohibited a prisoner from being asked a question that might incriminate him. Jesus' response to the inappropriate questions was to point out that he had legal means to gather information but not by questioning him. An officer slapped Jesus in the face for his response. Yet, Jesus spoke the truth. He was reminding Annas of the law.

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