If I tell you, you will not believe ...
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. 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, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “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.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
There is a long and sordid tradition of heretic hunters in religious groups of all ilks. Throughout the ages religious authorities have done some of the most ungodly things to those who have disagreed with them. These who claim to inhabit the moral high ground have often acted in the most immoral ways towards those who challenge their theology. In this passage we see the worst example as God Incarnate is tried in a religious kangaroo court.
Do you find it interesting how these heretic hunters demanded that Jesus confess that he was the Messiah? As if his words meant anything to them. Sadly these religious leaders were only interested in having something that would (in their sick minds anyway) excuse their coming ungodly actions. Even so, Jesus gave them one last chance to believe in him as he spoke of being seated at the right hand of the power of God. Sadly these did not listen to him and believe.
Forgive us Lord when we sit in judgment on others and act like heresy hunters.