by Stuart Gray
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Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ (Mark:14:61b)
Read Mark 14:53–65
A common form of interviewing politicians and leaders these days is the ‘gotcha’ question – a question designed so that no matter what the answer, the person is made to look foolish or seen to be denigrating a section of society or some other ‘crime’ that then leads to the next headline of how bad the person is.
The questions are not designed to elicit information or allow the person to argue a case. They are designed to trap the person into making a mistake.
In this trial of Jesus, there was a great determination to find fault with Jesus, but they struggled to do so:
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet even then their testimony did not agree (Mark 14:55–59).
During this time, Jesus does not say much. He lets the confusion of the accusers destroy their arguments.
The high priest then came up with a gotcha question: ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’
In one of the few responses Jesus gave during his trial, he said (verse 62), ‘I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven’.
The high priest’s response was dramatic. ‘“You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death’ (Mark 14:64).
While gotcha questions about our faith don’t have the same dire consequences Jesus faced, they can still hurt and wound us.
How do you respond to gotcha questions?
Heavenly Father, help us to be prepared for the difficult questions about our faith so that we can confidently proclaim your name and the love that Christ gives the world through his death and resurrection. Amen.
Stuart, with his wife Pamela Dalgliesh, lives in Mansfield, Victoria. Stuart has a background in agricultural science, rural journalism and corporate affairs. He loves living on a small farm in the beautiful High Country of Victoria, being involved in the Mansfield community and travelling, having in the last three years done extensive travels in Western Australia, Queensland, the United Kingdom and Ireland.