A Case of Blasphemy

Edited by Rebecca Bynum (April 2007)

(From the Gospels of John and Matthew, New King James versions)

 

Spoke Jesus:

 

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

   
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am [both] the door [and the true Shepherd] of the sheep… I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

 

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came, do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

(…)

 

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

 

(…)

 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

   
 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

   
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

 

(…)

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.'

Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
   " 'I will strike the shepherd,
      and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' (Zechariah 13:7)

 

[When the soldiers of the Roman Guard came to arrest Jesus] He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”

 

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these (others) go their way,”

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

 

(…)

 

The high priest [Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas] then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.  Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”

And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”

Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well [I speak the truth], why do you strike Me?”

 

Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.

 

Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

They answered and said to him, “If he were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered him up to you.”

Then Pilate said to them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.”

Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,”…

 

Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”

Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me. What have you done?”

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are you a king then?”

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in him at all.”

 

So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.

Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him.”

 

Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”

Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify him, crucify him!

 

Pilate said to them, “You take him and crucify him, for I find no fault in him.”

The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

Then Pilate said to Him, “Are you not speaking to me? Do you not know that I have power to crucify you, and power to release you?”

Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”

From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”

Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

 

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Rebecca Bynum contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all her contributions, on which comments are welcome.

 


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