READ: Mark 14:53-72
THINK: Most people find it difficult to keep quiet when others spread rumors or tell lies about them--especially when the remarks are made to their face. Even with petty, insignificant issues it's still hard not to respond defensively. But sometimes false statements can do serious and significant damage to a person's reputation. Even in these instances, however, the situations seldom involve anything life-threatening. But in today's passage, we see Jesus in just such a situation, falsely accused and facing the prospect of certain death if He offers no defense. Amazingly, Jesus keeps quiet. Certainly, He could have countered His critics with profound questions or insights, leaving them speechless, as He had done many times before in public. But this time He would not respond to the lies. He would only confirm the truth of His identity. Why would Jesus remain silent at this time? It had everything to do with fulfilling His mission to rescue you.
RESPOND: Why do you think people were willing to falsely testify against Jesus, and why were there conflicting accounts (vv. 56-58)? Why do you think Jesus remained silent in the face of the accusations, but when questioned by the high priest He admitted that He was the Christ, the Son of God (vv. 61-62)? Why did His accusers refuse to accept Jesus as God's Son, and instead abuse Him so shamefully (v. 65)? How would you have felt if you were Peter, having so emphatically denied his friend and mentor, Jesus (vv. 66-72)?
PRAY: Give Jesus praise as the eternal Son of God. Express to Him how thankful you are that He stood up to ridicule, rejection and abuse and never denied His mission to suffer and die for your offenses against God.
ACT: Whenever someone says or does something that bothers you, offends you or outright hurts you, resist the urge to talk back or retaliate in any way. In fact, respond graciously in every situation. This could set a better example and make a more powerful impact for Christ than most things you could say to people
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