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The New Testament Commentary Vol Iii John by B.W. Johnson

Practical Observations.

1. From the accounts of the trial before the Sanhedrim, given more fully by the other Evangelists, we learn clearly the ground of condemnation. Failing to convict Jesus of any capital charge by witnesses, they examined him and the high priest exclaimed, |I adjure thee, Art thou the Christ, the Son of God.| When he replied |I am,| the high priest rent his garments, as if in horror, and cried: |What need have we of further testimony?| and all affirmed, |He is worthy of death.| He was condemned, not because he said he was the Christ, but for asserting that he was the |Son of God,| the crime of blasphemy from the point of view that he was only a man. Hence, before Pilate, when he found the Savior guiltless, they brought the additional charge: |We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.| It follows, therefore, that Christ died on his own testimony that he was the Son of God. He heard the sentence of death passed by the Sanhedrim, on this ground, without a word of explanation. These facts are all consistent with his Sonship, his real Divinity, but are incapable of explanation if he was less than the Son of God. The only way to free his character to to accept him as the Son of the Highest.

2. Now with the eye of sense we look on Jesus an he stands before this Jewish tribunal. It is the Man of sorrows, despised and rejected of men; treated by those lordly judges, and the brutal band of servitors, as the vilest of felons, the very refuse of the earth. Again, with the eye of faith we look upon him, and he seems transfigured before us, when, breaking the long-kept silence, he declares, |I am the Son of God, and hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.| From what a depth of earthly degradation, to what a height of superhuman dignity does Jesus at once ascend! And is it not striking to notice how he himself blends his humiliation and exaltation, his humanity and divinity, as he takes the double title and binds it to his suffering brow: The Son of Man; the Son of God. -- Hanna

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