Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.
Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’” But not even then did their testimony agree.
And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing.
Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”
And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
— Mark 14:55–64, NKJV
Israel’s religious and political leaders wanted to rid themselves of Jesus, so they tried every means possible to convict Him of a crime. They paid an informant from among Jesus’ own followers, but he returned their money and declared the Lord innocent (Mark 14:43–46; Matthew 27:3–5). They orchestrated an armed mob to intimidate Jesus, but He kept His cool and restrained His followers (Matthew 26:51–54.). The leaders even presented witnesses to testify against Him, but the witnesses perjured themselves and contradicted each other (Mark 14:55, 56).
People tried to convict Jesus of a crime for which they lacked a shred of evidence. They failed because Jesus lived His life in plain sight. For every false accusation lodged against Him, there were countless examples of His love and moral perfection.
What signs of authentic faith do people see when they scrutinize our lives? Is it enough evidence to prove that our trust in God is real? The Bible suggests several outward marks of authentic faith:
- We display the Beatitudes that Jesus described in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3–16).
- We think with a transformed mind, we express genuine love, and we respect authority (Romans 12:1,2; 13:1–7).
- We overflow with love actions (1 Corinthians 13).
- We display the Spirit’s fruit (Galatians 5:22–26).
- We imitate Christ’s humility and look out for others’ interests (Philippians 2:1–4).
- We pray without ceasing, and in everything we give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
- We carry out works of faith and compassion (James 2:14–17), we control our tongues (3:1–11), and we speak wisdom (3:13).
- We hold to the truth about Jesus (2 John 4; 3 John 3, 4) and defend it (Jude 3).
As others study our lives for evidence that we are followers of Christ, how many of these marks do they see?
Drawn from the Apply the Word Study Bible.
What challenges and successes have you encountered as you seek to pursue faith that is transformative and authentic?
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