The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. John 18:19-24
Jesus did not sneak around when He taught. He did it openly in the towns and in the synagogues. When He was questioned after His arrest there was nothing left to say as all had been said in public. Which raises the question of why so many want there to be secret teachings from Jesus? I guess it is hard to feel special when everyone knows something. It is much better to be in the know and on the inside. Who wants to be involved in a movement that lets everybody in?
Of course Jesus’ openness makes the claims that He was some radical seeking to overthrow the Roman government. After all no one plots a revolution in the open. You do that in secret until time to make your move. Yet we have Jesus going throughout the country teaching to large crowds everywhere He went. Nothing secret about it. And the most radical things He said were said to the priests and other Jewish authorities, such as “Before Abraham was, I am”. So if anyone did not know what Jesus was doing they just were not paying attention.
This brings up another issue, the so called Gnostic Gospels. Gnosticism is based on the premise that Jesus had secret teachings that He only relayed to a select few individuals. Of course depending on what theory about Christianity you are trying to push Jesus could have related this secret knowledge to Judas, Peter or maybe Mary Magdalene or possible someone else. Each of the Gnostic Gospels has its champions and each has received its share of notoriety with articles in National Geographic or shows on the History Channel. What seems to get lost are two things. First, all were written long after the reputed authors had died with most in the late second to early forth centuries. But of even more importance is what Jesus says in today’s verses, “I have said nothing in secret”.
Jesus taught publicly to all, not to a select few. Jesus came for all. God wants everyone to be saved by the Good News Jesus preached. How would that be possible if only a few were let in on the news?
Have a blessed day,