“If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” (John 18:23)

Here Jesus is responding to being offensively slapped by the guard of the high priest, who didn't like Jesus' answer to the high priest's questions about Jesus' teachings.

So we see that while Jesus was hesitant to explain his teachings to the high priest, Jesus wasn't hesitant to demand an explanation from the Jewish official who struck Jesus. Why is that?

This illustrates that Jesus was not necessarily the docile victim in this makeshift trial by the high priest. Jesus was ready to defend his statement.

But he wasn't willing to put those teachings - his message from the Supreme Being - on trial.

That's right. The difference between Jesus' responses reqarding his teachings and his willingness to defend his other statements is apparent. Why?

Because the message that he carried - his teachings - were coming from the Supreme Being. Jesus was thus being ultra careful about the possibility of those teachings coming from God being twisted and contorted by those who only wished to retain their seats of power.

Yes, certainly this relates to the aspect of 'pearls before swine' -
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." (Matt. 7:6)
But it goes much deeper than this. The teachings of God's messenger are carefully directed not simply because Jesus is afraid of being torn "to pieces." Here we see that Jesus accepts persecution - and his not discussing his teachings before the high priest even made matters worse.

So there is something else going on.

We must remember that Jesus is passing on what has been given to him. He was sent by someone else to give a message from someone else. Who is that someone else? The Supreme Being. Consider these clear statements by Jesus:
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." (John 4:34)
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (Jhn 5:24)
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
"For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me." (John 5:36)
"And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form" (John 5:37)
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him..." (John 6:44)
"Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father..." (John 6:57)
"My teaching is not my own. It comes from Him who sent me." (John 7:16)
"Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but He who sent me is true."(John 7:28-29)
"I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the One who sent me." (John 7:33)
"But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me." (John 8:16)
"I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." (John 8:18)
"I have much to say in judgment of you. But He who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from Him I tell the world." (Jhn 8:26)
"The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." (Jhn 8:29)
"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me." (Jhn 8:42)
"As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)
[Jesus praying to God]"I knew that You always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent me." (John 11:42)
"When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the One who sent me." (John 12:44)
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49)
"I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me." (John 13:20)
We can see from all of these statements that Jesus is not simply making up his own teachings and broadcasting them, nor does he think he is God (as many ecclesiastical sectarians often teach) and he can say what he wants. (After all, if Jesus were God, he would not be "sent by" the Supreme Being and he would not be saying that he is teaching what God "commanded" him to teach.)

Rather, Jesus is clearly identifying himself as being God's loving servant - being sent by God and speaking on behalf of God.

And thus Jesus considers the message he carries as precious. It is from the Person Jesus loves - the Supreme Being. And Jesus doesn't want those teachings from his Beloved God to be trampled upon by the Jewish high priest or his henchmen.

Let's say, for example, that an ambassador of the president of a country is sent to another country to give that country's leader a message. And let's say that at the border of the country, the ambassador is asked why he has come to the country. Will the ambassador give the message to the border agent?

Certainly not. The message is intended for the country's leader, not for the border patrol or anyone else. If the ambassador tells the border agent, the message has been delivered to the wrong party. Such an ambassador would likely be fired, for he has failed his duty to carry the message to the right person.

In the same way, Jesus' message was intended for certain people and not others. We can see this also illustrated by Jesus' speaking in parables:
“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’" (Mark 4:11-12)
Jesus is obviously explaining that only certain people are being given confidential instructions about the kingdom of God. The rest ("on the outside") had to try to figure out the parables. Why?

As Jesus spoke to the public, he utilized parables to draw in only those who were serious about returning to their relationship with the Supreme Being. For those who were not serious, they would be left "on the outside," unable to understand the message.

Thus we know from this exchange and the exchange between Jesus and the high priest that Jesus is being selective about who hears the message from the Supreme Being.

But it isn't Jesus' selection. It is the Supreme Being's selection.

Remember Jesus' clear statements about his being sent by God and his clear statement: "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."

If we can accept that Jesus is acting on behalf of God and is teaching as God guides him - we have to accept that it is God who is steering His teachings through Jesus.

The reality is, most of us in the physical world do not want to be introduced to God. We want to enjoy life and pretend that we are the greatest - at least at something. We want to be the boss; or the rich business mogul; or the president; or the best father or mother; or the rock star; or the big author or movie star.

All of these objectives - rock star, movie star, business mogul, star parent, politician or otherwise successful, rich and famous person - are ways we are trying to access God's position.

Who wants to get to know, and then come to love and serve their competitor?

The Supreme Being doesn't want His message sent out to those who are seeking His position. Those who are envious of Him. Why? Because they don't want to hear it. They aren't ready for it. The message will interfere with our goals and objectives to enjoy life without God.

Yes, even so many who claim religiousity - we may pretend we are so religious - but really we are more interested in gaining the respect of others - having others accept us, appreciate us and respect us. In other words, we are not really serious about coming to know and love God.

The Supreme Being screens out those who are not serious. This is why scripture can be puzzling, and why honest teachers of the Truth are few.

It is only those who have become tired of the false promises of the physical world - those who are no longer enamored by the fake glitter of stardom and the emptiness of sensual pleasure - who find their way seriously seeking the Supreme Being.

We must understand why God limits His message to those who have become serious. It is because He loves us. He cares for us. Just as parents don't talk to their kids about the "birds and the bees" until they are ready, the Supreme Being is waiting for us to become ready to hear about Him.

But the Supreme Being always opens up just enough of Himself for those who want to return to Him to be captured by. While the teachings of Jesus from the scriptures are but a very small slice of what he gave to his students, there is enough there (enough 'tea leaves' to follow, so to speak) to capture the hearts of those who are serious about returning to their loving service relationship with the Supreme Being.

For others, there is enough distraction there - between Jesus' healings, demon cleansings, his parables and the various relationships with his disciples and students - to distract those who are wanting to claim they are Christians - but really are not serious about following Jesus' teachings and becoming one of the Supreme Being's devoted servants:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)



(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of John without sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)