They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together. Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: "We heard him say, `I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.'" Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
In a Nutshell
The religious leaders were ready. They had planned to get rid of this hated Galilean teacher and now it was coming about just as they had wanted. The were committed to getting Him convicted.
Look carefully at the passage.
How did the writer of the story get this material together?
Who would have passed on the information?
Mark now tells us what happened to Jesus. The story involves two people: Jesus who was arrested and Peter who followed the arresting party. Other reports of what happened are Matthew 26:57-68, Luke 22:54-5, 63-71 and John 18:12-24.
I wonder. Was the young fellow Mark traumatised by the militia? The event in which he had escaped naked, may have meant Mark kept well clear at least for the rest of that night, or at least until he could find some new pyjamas. So we ask: from whom where did he get his information?
This is the most important part of Mark's story - Jesus is interrogated before the High Priest. The trial was a result of deep hatred, jealously and pride. The priests hated this Man. They were even willing to violate God's law to get a conviction. They had to prove to each other that they were not backing off. Centuries earlier, Isaiah had seen how God would deal with sin through such treatment.
… he was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth (Isaiah 53:7).
I guess the religious leaders were angry about the corner into which they had painted themselves. They threatened; they provoked. They wanted to show this Innocent Man that they had the power to do what they wanted to do with Him. But the way Mark tells it, they only succeeded in exposing their own hypocrisy.
Peter watched helplessly from the sidelines. He had promised to die with his Master, but he had been rebuked by Jesus for his lack of self-control. At the arrest he had shown his lack of wisdom by drawing his sword and cutting of the ear of the high priest's servant.
The trial was obviously a farcical breakdown in justice; a denial of all that the Torah, God's Law, stood for and commanded. And they tried all night to get a guilty verdict. They tried to get false witnesses to stitch up the case. They tried to make an argument against Jesus by getting some to make fake accusations and knitting these together, but their case fell apart. Jesus didn't have to say anything. Before this terror-court, this hearing, Jesus was silent.