John 18:24; Matthew 26: 57-66


The people of Jerusalem were sleeping in the early morning hours when they took Jesus from Annas to the house of the high priest Caiaphas. Caiaphas had started planning to kill Jesus when Lazarus was raised from the dead (John 11:45-53). He did not like it  that Jesus said He was the Messiah. Now the whole Sanhedrin gathered to listen to Jesus’ testimony. The Sanhedrin was a group of seventy-one religious leaders. They made legal decisions for the Jewish people and Caiaphas led their meetings.

In a fair trial witnesses tell the truth. Witnesses say what they have seen and heard about the person on trial. Caiaphas could not find anyone who had seen Jesus break the law. However, some people were willing to say things about Jesus that were not true. The two witnesses did not tell what Jesus really said. When Caiaphas heard what they said, he had an idea. If Caiaphas could get Jesus to say that He was the Messiah, they could accuse Him of blasphemy. Blasphemy is telling a lie about God. If someone who was not the Messiah said he was, he would be lying about God.    

Why did Caiaphas tear his clothes when Jesus said, “Yes, I am the Messiah”?   A priest never tore his clothes except when someone said something blasphemous. Caiaphas tore his clothes to make it seem that it was blasphemous of Jesus to say He was the Son of God (Messiah). But it was not blasphemous because Jesus was telling the truth. Caiaphas tore his clothes to make it seem he was furious. However, he was actually glad that they now had an accusation against Jesus. The punishment for blasphemy was death.


Jesus was not guilty of any wrongdoing.



  1. Did Caiaphas want to know the truth about Jesus?
  2. What did Caiaphas want the witnesses to say about Jesus?
  3. Why did Caiaphas tear his clothes?


Acts 2: 29-31