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.
Jesus Before the Council
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.” (Luke 22: 63-67)
“If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
The Jews ask him point bland if he is the Christ. Jesus, perhaps, could have just said yes and it would have been enough to convict him. But he goes one better. It’s a strange thing, until you realize that what the Jews are asking can’t be a simple answer of yes, that would have been somewhat misleading. Jesus is the messiah, but the messiah, the Christ is much more than what the Jews who are asking him believe the Christ is.
Jesus is right to say they won’t believe him. They won’t. This isn’t why they are asking him. And yet Jesus can’t deny that he is. He is Truth, he cannot lie. So he tells the truth. He explains who the messiah is. “From now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” This is in itself blasphemy. The Jews who expected a messiah, would never expect the messiah to say anything like this. Not even David would say that he sat at the right hand of the power of God. To sit at the right hand of the power of God is not a literal thing, it means to be given the power of God, to have his authority, to speak for him, to act for him and in such a way that you don’t need to consult him or be told by him what do do as a prophet who speaks for him might. It is in short to be God. It was blasphemy. But just to make sure he was talking about himself and not someone else, they ask if he is then the son of man. “You say that I AM.” The gospel of John is famous for the I AM statements. But when Jesus says I AM, he means a lot more than just an affirmative answer. It is somewhat a double entendre. He emphasizes it is such a way that people will know he is the voice the spoke to Moses from the Burning Bush. This is what it means to be the Messiah, the Christ, to be the savior that leads his people out of Egypt. To be the God who saves his people from sin, death and the devil.