In a courtroom setting, we find a judge, a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney, a jury, and witnesses, each representative of the interest of the greater public. Each are essential to making a determination of truth – which is what court is supposed to be about.
Unless each play their defined role, bringing the case is basically a waste of time. A sham.
Down through history, court proceedings have been exactly that – a sham. Proceedings have been held to provide a semblance of truth to the public, to carry out a pre-determined result, all the while making it appear as if truth has been sought.
(Recently, we have seen this occurring more and more in our own nation, and we are becoming familiar with biased judges and biased juries, and we are seeing more and more results based upon pre-determined political opinion rather than truth.)
A sham of a court case is not foreign to us; it is familiar territory.
Jesus finds Himself in the midst of a sham of a court case in John 5. The Jews have determined to put Him to death. In their opinion, Jesus has violated the Sabbath Law by healing an invalid, and He has made it worse by then commanding the man He healed to walk and to carry his bed, and then – even worse – making Himself equal with God. This would be an affront to anyone familiar with the Jewish interpretation of the Sabbath Law, and it would be blasphemy. These are capital offenses.
Rather than coming into compliance with, or submitting to Jewish leadership, Jesus turns their case around. They come to Jesus as judge, prosecution, and jury, seeking to bring their ‘divine’ authority to bear.
Jesus’ response is fascinating, and much is learned by it. In this case we observe Jesus sharing Divine truth with those He knows will not believe, because they have their own divine truth.
In His defense, Jesus informs them He is Judge, not them, and by His witness He offers absolute proof this is true. Jesus has no interest in their religious interpretations – He is solely interested in truth. And He presents His case to an audience well beyond those present He knows will not believe.