Subtle Declarations

Did Jesus confirm his messiah-ship before the high priest? Was his messianic proclamation linked to the one who would rebuild the temple?

Jesus had remarked that he was going to destroy and rebuild the temple (Mt. 26:61, 27:40, Mk. 14:58, 15:29, John 2:19) (John of course explains that this meant “his body”). Why did the priest ask plainly about him being the messiah/christ after the witness said,

"'This man stated, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.'" 

It is, of course in the Scriptures, and if you don’t know them, you may not catch it. The question of the high priest comes out of the witness’s own testimony: Zech. 6, 

“Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.” 

It was thought by some that the branch would be the messiah, and Jesus' answer is quite clever and incidentally incited rage due to the insinuation from its context. Jesus' response is, 

“the son of man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God" (Lk. 22:69, Mt. 26:64). 

This is obviously taken from Ps. 110:1 where Yahweh (the first Lord) is speaking to a second lord (adoni), who is the eschatological king and also David’s lord, according to the interpretation of our NT sources (Mt. 22:44-45, Mk. 12:36-37, Lk. 1:31, 20:42-44). 

"The LORD [Yahweh] says to my Lord [adoni]: 'Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'"

This passage is so evident that there was absolutely no ambiguity in Jesus’ claim to this position at the right hand (power) of Yahweh. This can also seen in the fact that Ps. 110:1 is the most quoted messianic eschatological passage in the NT at roughly 20 times. It is also quite probable that Jesus had in mind Ps. 80:17(18) as well: 

“Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.” 

This Psalm speaks of a vine and shoot, not unlike a branch.

“Take care of this vine, Even the shoot which Your right hand has planted, And on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.” Ps. 80:15

Who is this shoot? Well, that may be a declaration of faith.

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” Isa. 11:1-2.

"In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel." Isa. 4:2

"Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified." Isa. 60:21

"...the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land." Jer. 23:5

"'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth." Jer. 33:15

"...behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch…I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. "In that day," declares the LORD of hosts, "every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree." Zec. 3:8-10

How could they have possibly gotten it wrong? Or did they? Who are they?

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