The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?"
God is on trial and the religious poobahs do not have a clue about what is really going on. Like many religious folks their whole life is focused on the externals and they are totally unaware of the spiritual aspects of their actions. I read this passage and I have a difficult time imagining spiritual leaders acting in such a violent way towards anyone much less a prophet of peace. Yet violence is the end result of a man made and man focused religion.
Do you hear the accusation in the Lord's words as he indicts them of acting cowardly. Spiritual people are marked by courage and always have been. Martin Luther would not kowtow to fleshly authority and centuries later Martin Luther King, Jr also would not. In contrast religious folks are often most comfortable acting in secret under the cover of closed doors. Jesus lays out for us an example of transparency and openness not only in the way that he taught but in how he lived. How can we live differently. It is time to open our doors.
Lord, help me live a courageous life of transparency and openness.