is a religion that includes ideas about how we should live our livesin the world. revolved around beliefs and practices that theJews engaged in. It being among the oldest religions, revealsa period of suffering and persecution. Within itself there arevarious movements which are said to have emerged from Rabbinic that holds the mind that God’s laws and commandments wererevealed to Moses both in written and oral form. isconsidered amongst the old time monotheistic religions and they tracetheir roots to Abrahamic religions.1
holds several beliefs about God some of which are unlike what otherChristian do. Among them are the following:
That God indeed exists
That there is only one God and no other gods
That unlike other Christian’s belief God cannot be divided into sub persons
That when creating the heavens and the earth God did it without any help
That God not a male or a female since He does not have a human body
Someof these beliefs brought about controversies and strife between theJews and other Christians since they contradicted their beliefs. Thismay also help us understand why the Jews had a hard time dealing withChrist’s teachings and more so His works. Prophecies uponprophecies on Christ coming to save the sinful world, had beenpronounced since the day Adam and Eve fell into satan’s temptationsin the garden of Eden and ate of the forbidden tree of knowledge ofgood and evil. From minor to Major Prophets, it was made clear thatGod will take human body and live in this world in order toaccomplish the salvation mission.
Thescriptures talk about two events that Jesus is to come to the world,the first is Him being born through virgin Mary where He was to facegreat challenges from them who never knew Him and also them whoprophesied to know him and claimed to be looking forward to seeingHim when He finally2comes since He was to come from a very humble background and live ahumble life as well. Living among the poor and a friend thoserejected by the society and especially the Jews who used theirreligious beliefs to do so. The second account is when Jesus is tocome as a king to take home with him them that will be faithful tothe end. He will take over from the rulers of the world and establishHis government that will rule eternally.
Thetwo accounts gives the two sides of the identity of Jesus somethingthat a great number of the Jews did not quite understand. The Jewsbelieved in one version that Jesus was to come as a king and takeover from the Roman government that was in power then and give theruler ship back to the Jews. They also held the belief that he was touse His mighty powers to fight for them literally and set theircaptives free from the Romans. However as many of the New Testamentauthors including Mark tries to explain it was not time yet for Jesusto take over and that explains why held Jesus lowly andclaimed that He was a blasphemer just because He came in human bodyand suffered in this world.
TheGospel of Mark tries to bring out the picture of Jesus’ identitywhich is the dominant theme and tries to explain who actually Jesuswas. The lack of better understanding of who Jesus was is the mainreason as to why rejected him other reasons includes theirtraditions and beliefs since they believed in the Ten Commandmentsthat were handed to Moses originally at Mount Sinai. Thesecommandments found in the book of Genesis chapter 20 warns againsthaving other gods other than God who brought them out of Egypt andworshiping idols.
Genesis20:3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Genesis20:4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness ofanything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, orthat is in the water under the earth:
Genesis20:5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I theLORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathersupon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them thathate me
Theyused this to defy any request or order to worship anyone or anything(including Jesus since they did not believe His divinity) apart fromthe God who brought them out of Egypt. However this had al3sobeen prophesied as evident in Isaiah 53:3 and I quote
“Heis despised and rejected of men a man of sorrows, and acquaintedwith grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him he wasdespised, and we esteemed him not”
Godsaw it necessary for Jesus to take human body for him to representthem effectively and reconcile man to God as seen in the book ofHebrews 2:17 and I quote
“Forthis reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, inorder that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest inservice to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of thepeople”.
Forthis mystery of incarnation and reconciliation to be possible it wasa must that Jesus had to be divine. The combination of these two, thedivine and human nature of Jesus, became a central part of whatChristians believed as the identity of Jesus which Mark preaches inhis Gospel helping them understand that who Jesus is more importantthan what he teaches. This was the good news that the Jews needed toundersta4ndin order for them to proclaim that they knew God. This brings us tothe book of Mark Chapter 14 where we get Jesus being arrested andtried. The trial if found in verse 53 to 65 where He is broughtbefore Jewish authorities. Jesus is rejected by the Jews as describedfrom verse 55 as follows:
Mark14:55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witnessagainst Jesus to put him to death and found none.
Mark14:56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witnessagreed not together.
Mark14:57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him,saying,
Mark14:58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made withhands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
Mark14:59 But neither so did their witness agree together.
Mark14:60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus,saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witnessagainst thee?
Mark14:61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the highpriest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son ofthe Blessed?
Mark14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sittingon the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Mark14:63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need weany further witnesses?
Mark14:64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they allcondemned him to be guilty of death.
Jesuswas brought before the Sanhedrin otherwise known as the supremecouncil which was the judicial body for trial. Being the hi5ghestauthority among the Jews in all matters in their community itreceived its jurisdiction from the Romans who governed them. Lookingat the verses quoted above the only charge raised against Jesus wasblasphemy. To blaspheme is to take the attributes of God and givethem to an earthly being or thing and so Jesus is accused of healing,forgiving sins and calling himself as the high priest says “Son ofthe Blessed”. This according to the Jews is blasphemy since God isnot a human being and therefore no human can forgive sins.
Jesusin accepting that He is indeed the “Son of the Blessed” wasaccording to them confirming that He is a blasphemer and that is whythe high priest reacts by saying
“… Whatneed we any further witnesses?
“Yehave heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned himto be guilty of death”.
Blasphemywas considered the greatest crime and the punishment therefore theharshest as put in the book of Leviticus chapter 24 verse 16 :
“ Andhe that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put todeath, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as wellthe stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth thename of the Lord, shall be put to death”
Thisis why they all condemned him to death without much ado. From theevents that surround the trial of Jesus by the Sanhedrin it is soobvious that the Jews saw a threat in Jesus towards their ruler ship and they were doing all they could to eliminate him since they didnot take their time and resources to understand him which means eventhe judgment was not fair putting in mind that the witnesses were notgenuine.
6Theother issues that emanate from the trial according to Mark’saccount in what historians say about the Jewish council’s procedureis that in the first place the council ought not to have met atsomeone’s house in this case the high priest, they ought not tohave met at night, not during the festival of Passover and finallythere ought to have been another session to reconfirm the verdictmade.
Inconclusion, various reasons can be drawn from the issues discussedabove as to why Jesus was mishandled in the trial. The Jewish councilmight have feared Jesus’ growing influence and wanted himeliminated at whatever cost and that is why they violated proceduressince no formal trial was done and no preliminary investigation wasdone before handing him to the Romans for trial.
Danniel,Harrington & S. Editor. 2002. TheGospel of Mark. NewYork:MinnesotaLiturgical Press.
James,Hastings.2004. ADictionary of Christ and the Gospels.New York: The Minerva Group Inc.
Patrick,Hartin. 2004. Jamesof Jerusalem (Heir to Jesus of Nazareth). Minnesota:MinnesotaLiturgical Press.
William,Loader. 2002. Jesusattitude towards the law. Cambridge:Eerdmans Publishing Co.
1 James, Hastings.2004. A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels. New York: The Minerva Group Inc.
2 James, Hastings.2004. A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels. New York: The Minerva Group Inc.
3 Danniel, Harrington & S. Editor. 2002. The Gospel of Mark. New York: Minnesota Liturgical Press.
4 Danniel, Harrington & S. Editor. 2002. The Gospel of Mark. New York: Minnesota Liturgical Press.
5 William, Loader. 2002. Jesus attitude towards the law. Cambridge: Eerdmans Publishing Co.
6 Patrick, Hartin. 2004. James of Jerusalem (Heir to Jesus of Nazareth). Minnesota: Minnesota Liturgical Press.