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Verses 59-60

Matthew 26:59-60. The chief priests, and all the council, sought false witness “When the council found that Jesus declined answering the questions, whereby they would have drawn from him an acknowledgment of his being the Messiah, they examined many witnesses to prove his having assumed that character; for it appears, by what happened afterward, that they considered such a pretension as blasphemy in his mouth, who, being nothing but a man, as they supposed, could not, without affronting the majesty of God, take the title of God’s Son, which of right belonged to the Messiah. But, in examining the witnesses, they acted like interested and enraged persecutors, rather than impartial judges; for they formed their questions after such a manner as, if possible, to draw from them expressions which they might pervert into suspicions of guilt, whereupon they might condemn Jesus. But found none, though many false witnesses came Notwithstanding they were at the utmost pains to procure such a proof as in the eye of the law would justify the sentence which they were resolved at all hazards to pass upon Jesus, they exerted themselves to no purpose. Because, though they suborned many witnesses, these, in giving their testimony, contradicted one another; a circumstance which the most illiterate person in the court could not but be sensible invalidated their evidence.” “As this was a great proof of Christ’s innocence, so it is a singular instance of the power of God over men’s minds, that, for all the rewards these great men could offer, no two consistent witnesses could be procured to charge him with any gross crime. Possibly, the exertion of his miraculous power, in striking to the ground those that were most forward to seize him, might intimidate the spirits of some who might otherwise have been prevailed upon.” At last came two false witnesses Such they were, although part of what they said was true, because our Lord did not speak some of the words they mentioned at all; nor any of them in the sense in which they represented them as being spoken. See Macknight and Doddridge.

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