Sermon: What Further Testimony Do We Need? (Luke 22:64-71)

Luke 22.63-71

What Further Testimony Do We Need?

Luke 22:64-71

Introduction

Last week, we saw the Roman cohort along with the scribes and elders bind Jesus and take Him to Annas the former high priest for what many would call a pretrial hearing.  Next Annas had Jesus taken to Caiaphas the current reigning high priest for further questioning.

In the midst of these two false trials, Peter was cowering in the shadows making his three denials.  At the third, the rooster crowed and Peter saw the Lord looking straight at him and he remembered everything Jesus had said and Peter ran away weeping and repenting.  Satan’s sifting had produced within Peter a humble and contrite heart.

In our text today as we go to yet another trial, we are shown the four titles for Jesus:  He is Jesus the divine Lord, the Christ, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.  I pray we learn what each name means and how each demands our allegiance.  We’ll also learn today how we should handle….

Primary Claim

Jesus is fully God and fully man; to slander Jesus is to commit blasphemy against God.

Human Condition

One great sin we must fight against is to think that we are the authority over God.  When we state it like that, we all probably would deny the suggestion altogether that we would ever think of ourselves as the authority over God.  Do we ever disregard God’s Word?  Do we ever do something God has clearly said not to do?  Or, do we ever not do something God has told us we should be doing?  These are all indicators that when we sin, we are disregarding God and placing ourselves over Him.

Then, believe it or not, there are times when we believe God should answer to us.  We may read God’s Word and tell ourselves that this cannot mean what it says and so I will act according to what I think God says.  To think that God should answer to us is a great sin and one that affects all areas of our lives.  To be the judge over God is extreme self-centeredness and the height of human depravity.  This is exactly what has been going on the night before our Lord’s crucifixion.  Sinful man was acting as judge and jury over the Creator God.  They were saying that Jesus had broken their laws and was disserving to die as a result.

Do you ever place yourself over God and act as His judge?  Have you ever read what the Bible says and understood it and disregarded it?

In our text today, I want you to notice with me a few things.  In this false trial, this mockery of justice where sinners were pronouncing the death sentence on the King of heaven, we learn a few very important things about Jesus:

We learn He is divine, we learn He is the Messiah; we learn He is the Son of Man, and the Son of God.  We also learn that left to our own ways, we would be right there condemning God along with all the others.

Please hear God’s Word for GCC today…

Luke 22:63-71

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” [1]

1. Jesus, the Divine Lord

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

This is human nature running loose.  This is how each one of us, prior to our conversion, would treat Jesus without God’s restraining grace.

This came as no surprise to Jesus.  He knew all along what would happen.

Luke 18:

31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.[2]

Also, we should never forget that while God foretold all this, all this was for God’s people.  We are those who benefit from Jesus’ abuse.

Isaiah 53:4-5

Surely he has borne our griefs  and carried our sorrows;  yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

   But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. [3]

It is because of these events even before the cross, Jesus can be our sympathetic High Priest.  He can relate to us when we are mistreated by others.  Never think that our Lord cannot show sympathy.  Our mistreatment will never come close to what He experienced, but He did experience abuse.

Kent Hughes, in his commentary on this passage says that we have a clear picture of Jesus here.  Standing blindfolded with spit and blood coming from His mouth…in regal silence, dripping spittle and blood.[4]

Jesus did not shrink back for a second but took every blow as His mockers laughed and made fun of Him and verbally abused Him.

Tell us who it was who hit You that time?  Jesus knew.

Luke reports something here that we shouldn’t overlook…

65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.  The word blasphemountes is the Greek word, which denotes a very particular type of slander.  To blaspheme (our shortened version) is to speak wrongly about God or to speak against God.  It is impossible, by the mere meaning of the word for someone to blaspheme a man.  Blasphemy can only be against God.  But Luke says they were blaspheming Jesus.  Do you see the point?

The point is that Luke tells us that the slander that the tormentors were shouting at Jesus qualified as blasphemy only because Jesus is God.  If Jesus were only a man then this slander could not be called blasphemy.

Luke believed Jesus to be God.  Jesus is our divine Lord.  He’s not created, He is God the Creator.

 2. Jesus, the Christ

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer.

Here, Jesus is taken before the Sanhedrin Jerusalem’s ruling council.   Jesus has already been blindfolded and beaten mercilessly.  The strange thing is that the court system of the Jews was a very good system, in many ways superior to ours.  A person was innocent until proven guilty.  A person awaiting trial was never mistreated.  If any errors were made, there were safeguards in place that would cause the courts to err on the side of mercy.  Here, things were different.

One example that was clearly overlooked in Jesus’ case was that if a person had committed a crime deserving the death penalty, they would be given three additional days after sentencing just in case new evidence would be found exonerating them.  While walking to the place of execution, someone would walk ahead to cry out in anyone knows any reason this man should not be put to death please come forward now.  All these safeguards and many others were conveniently overlooked in the case of Jesus.

One other was that the ruling judge over the case could never ask the defendant to condemn himself.  They listened to evidence and never asked the one on trial any questions like Jesus was asked.

The council asks Jesus if He claims to be the Christ?  This is, “do You claim to be the long awaited Messiah”?

Luke has spent his Gospel explaining to us who Jesus is.  Jesus will not die until He tells one more time from His own lips.

Are You the Messiah?  Christ or Messiah means anointed One of God.  The Messiah or anointed One is the Savior that God has promised to send.  Christ also carries with it Kingly overtones.  The Messiah will be the King of Israel.

From the very beginning, Luke has shown us that Jesus is the King and the Messiah…

Luke 2:11-20

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14    “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. [5]

Remember soon after when Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to the Temple for His dedication…

Luke 2:25-26

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [6]

We also have Peter’s declaration with Jesus’ complete approval…

Luke 9:20

20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” [7] 

With all these stated factual accounts about Jesus being the Christ, we see the arrogance of the council…If you are the Christ.

I love our Lord’s response.  If I tell you the truth about all this, you still will not believe…His point is, that He had done thousands of miracles that only the Messiah could do.  He taught as only the Messiah could teach.

Luke 7:18-23

18 tThe disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ ” 21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” [8]

Jesus knew that their minds were fixed and that no amount of real solid evidence would alter their decision.

We must ask ourselves, after we’ve read through Luke’s account and seen the evidence, do we believe?  Do we believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One who has come from God bringing with Him salvation for sinners?

3. Jesus, the Son of Man

69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

I want to cut to the chase…Jesus Christ is the Son of Man.  This was the name Jesus most often gave Himself.

Luke 5:24

24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”[9]

Luke 6:5

And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” [10]

What is significant about this title that Jesus so often gave Himself?  What’s significant about the title “Son of Man” and what was Jesus telling us about Himself by using it?

Daniel 7:

13 “I saw in the night visions,

       and behold, with the clouds of heaven

there came one like a son of man,

       and he came to the Ancient of Days

and was presented before him.

14    And to him was given dominion

and glory and a kingdom,

       that all peoples, nations, and languages

should serve him;

       his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

which shall not pass away,

       and his kingdom one

that shall not be destroyed. [11]

What Daniel saw were various kingdoms and kings.  But then there came One whose kingdom will never end.  Some points were are to connect here when Jesus declares that He is the Son of Man Daniel saw is that He is given dominion, glory, and a kingdom.  He is the One to which all peoples, nations and languages will come to serve.  He is the One who has an everlasting dominion and whose kingdom will never pass away.

When Jesus said this, they all knew that not only was He claiming Messiahship but also claiming to be God.  That’s why they ask Him the next question…

4. Jesus, the Son of God

70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” [12]

They knew Jesus was claiming divine power by telling them that He is the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.  The bottom line here is this…Jesus claimed to be God’s Son which means He claims pure undiluted deity.  Jesus was not the only One making this claim…

Luke 1:

32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,[13] 

Two other times we have this title, Son of God confirmed…Jesus’ baptism Luke 3:22 and at Jesus’ transfiguration Luke 9:35…This is My beloved Son, came the voice from the Father.

When asked the question, Jesus’ reply seems a little confusing.  However, scholars have determined that this was a form of speech often used in Jesus’ day.  The commentator Leon Morris explains it like this: It’s as if Jesus said, I wouldn’t put it like that, but since you did, I can’t deny it. 

At any rate, those questioning Jesus understand that He answered in the affirmative.

Why would His claiming to be the Son of God be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.” To be the Son of God is to be of the same nature as God. The Son of God is “of God.” The claim to be of the same nature as God—to in fact be God—was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus’ death, in keeping with Leviticus 24:15Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.”

 

The council responded in outrage as Jesus made His claim to be the Son of God.  What is ironic is that by His response, they declare that Jesus is guilty of blasphemy.  Remember, blasphemy is slandering God.

Jesus was speaking the truth when He declared who He really is and they accused Him of slandering God.  Remember early on in the text where Luke reports that in their abuse and verbal slander of Jesus, they were actually the ones committing blasphemy.

I want us to consider today the final question they asked…

What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.

What further testimony do we need?  We too have heard it from His own lips.  Are you convinced beyond all doubt that Jesus is who He said He is?

 Primary claim refocused

Jesus is fully God and fully man; to slander Jesus is to commit blasphemy against God.

The great turnaround came about, as they declared Jesus guilty of blasphemy, they themselves were blaspheming God.

Human condition changed or Human need met

Do we understand that to disobey Jesus is to disobey God?  To disobey what the Bible says is to disobey God?  To disobey God is to place ourselves over God and declare ourselves superior to Him.  Like the council who sat in judgment on God that day when they sentenced Jesus to die, we too sit in judgment if we don’t fully accept the Word of God and act upon it.

Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.  As God said at the Transfiguration, This is My beloved Son, Listen to Him.

Exhortation in godly living

We have undisputed biblical evidence that Jesus is who He has claimed to be.  Let’s not sit on the judgment seat over Him, let’s bow down in humility and in worship.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 22:63–71). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 18:31–32). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Is 53:4–5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] R. Kent Hughes, Luke: That You May Know the Truth, 2 Vols., Preaching the Word (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 1998), 2:355.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 2:11–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 2:25–26). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[7] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 9:20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[8] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 7:18–23). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[9] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 5:24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[10] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 6:5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[11] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Da 7:13–14). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[12] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 22:63–71). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[13] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 1:32). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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