Then Jesus told the priests and officials of the temple and the elders who had come out against him: (Luke 22:52 DT)We can see from this statement that Jesus is pointing out the contradiction of their arrest. The High Priest Caiaphas was the top official of the Temple of Jerusalem. As such, he could have had Jesus arrested at any time - as Jesus had often stood in the Temple courtyards teaching.
It wasn't as if Jesus did anything in secret. He wasn't secretly organizing a rebellion or something.
This statement by Jesus also specifically denies the possibility that Jesus was part of the Zealot movement. The Zealots were a group of Jewish people who were rebelling against the Roman Empire's occupation of Judea. They were known to riot and even violently face off with the Romans from time to time.
If Jesus was part of the Zealots - or was an organizer as some have proposed - then why would he question the guards carrying clubs and swords? If he were part of the Zealots, it would be perfectly logical they would carry weapons.
Rather, Jesus was peacefully rebelling against the teachings of the Jewish High Priest and his pharisee priests and elders.
Yes, the High Priest represented himself as the people's spiritual leader. As God's representative, much as the Pope does among the Roman Catholic sect.
When Jesus was teaching in the courtyards, he specifically argued against the qualifications of the High Priest and other priests of this Jewish institution. For example, he said:
"Woe to you pharisees – for you like the important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the markets." (Luke 11:43)Why is this so bad - to have the 'important seats in the synagogues' and receive 'respectful greetings in the markets?'
The problem is not that they were given the most important seats, and given respect.
The problem is that they desired these. They sought after these. They sought the respect of their followers and others in general. They wanted people to give them the important seats because they wanted authority. They wanted power over others. They wanted more followers so they could have more authority.
This is why the High Priest Caiaphas had Jesus arrested in the first place. Because he was losing followers to Jesus. He wanted to retain and gain more followers and more authority over others - and Jesus was threatening that because many people were becoming Jesus' followers.
This is also why Caiaphas had Jesus arrested at night - out of sight of the general population. Caiaphas was being careful: He wanted to maintain his authority over the people and didn't want others to witness this arrest.
Such a person who desires authority and power over others - and desires followers - is not qualified to be God's representative. This is why Jesus said this about those Jewish priests - the pharisees. It's also why he rebuked those who came out to arrest him in the night.
Being God's representative means being a servant. It means serving the Supreme Being. And one who desires power and authority is automatically disqualified because they are seeking God's position: God is the only true authority. As such, one who seeks power and authority over others is, within their heart, actually envious of the Supreme Being.
This is in fact, our disease. This is why we are here in the physical world, suffering within these temporary physical bodies. We wanted to be like God. This is the symbolic meaning of the third chapter of the Book of Genesis:
And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." (Genesis 3:22)What is being described is self-centeredness. The symbolic Adam and Eve - representing each of us - became self-centered, and became envious of God. "Knowing good and evil" here represents the ability to act in a self-centered fashion. This is why God "banished" Adam and Eve from Eden - because they ate the "fruit" of self-centeredness. As a result, they (we) abandoned their (our) loving service relationship with the Supreme Being.
This also means they (we) lost their (our) purity. The citizens of the spiritual realm are pure, because their hearts are loving the Supreme Being and wanting to please Him. This makes them pure. Jesus illustrated this purity when he described himself as wanting to do what pleases God:
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me. (John 5:30)Jesus is wanting to please the Supreme Being - who sent him - because he loves the Supreme Being. He didn't care about being respected or having the best seats in the house. He didn't care about how many followers he had. He only wanted to please the Supreme Being, because he saw himself as God's servant - and the servant of all humanity. This is reflected in this statement by Jesus to his disciples:
And know this clearly: Those today who stand up on the pulpit and preach, and those who assume the position of Pope, Bishop, Cardinal or any other official minister position within a church or temple - are claiming to be God's representatives: Just as the High Priest Caiaphas was claiming to be God's representative.
Yet we often find among today's priests, preachers and reverends, a clear hypocrisy:
They are teaching their students that Jesus is the only teacher. Some compound this with seductive catch-phrases such as, "let Jesus into your heart."
So if Jesus is the only teacher, why are these people teaching? Why are they putting on the robes and standing on the podiums and speaking? If they are not being teachers, then why should we listen to them?
If their doctrine is true, then we shouldn't have to listen to them. If their doctrine is true, then we can just listen to Jesus ourselves - since he is "within our hearts" according to these teachers.
Rather, these people are clearly claiming to be God's representatives - since they are trying to teach us about God.
But the problem - as Jesus pointed out about the Jewish priests of his time - was that they seek the respect of others. They seek the seats of honor. And they seek followers.
These disqualify them from representing God or Jesus. As Jesus said, one cannot have two masters. One cannot be interested in gaining followers for oneself on one hand, and on the other hand be serving the Supreme Being. It is one or the other:
"No servant can serve two masters – because either he will detest the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and detest the other. You can’t serve God and materialism.” (Luke 16:13 DT)Notice that the Greek word μαμωνᾶς (mamōnas) is translated to "materialism" in the Devotional Translations. In the King James Version it is translated into "mammon." What is "mammon"? Other translations have translated it to "wealth" or "money." Yet we find that some of Jesus' disciples - such as Joseph of Arimathea - did have money. Yet he still followed Jesus. And Jesus himself utilized money from time to time. So money in itself could not be what Jesus is speaking of.
The word μαμωνᾶς (mamōnas) means, according to the lexicon, something that opposes or rejects the Supreme Being. This is the opposite position of being a servant of God.
Materialism is the self-centered seeking of fame, name, wealth, followers or other things of this temporary material world. This is the "power of darkness" that Jesus is speaking of in Luke 22:53 above. "Darkness" is the self-centered chase of materialism.
Why does this position oppose or reject the Supreme Being? It opposes the position of the Supreme Being because of self-centeredness. Self-centeredness is the seeking of our own pleasure. It is ultimately seeking the position of authority. And this is God's position.
Jesus offered us a path back to our true nature: He offered us an entrance back to our pure state of being one of God's loving servants. The entrance is love for the Supreme Being. This is why Jesus' most important teaching was:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)