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There was a question recently about this verse and what Jesus actually meant here. So, I thought I'd post this question to see what you guys thought.

In Matthew 26, Jesus is before the Sanhedrin. And he responds to questioning:

Matthew 26:63b-64a (NASB)
And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself."

Is this phrase here Jesus agreeing with the high priest? What does Jesus mean here when he says "You have said it yourself"?

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Can we ascribe sarcasm to Jesus? As in, "You said it." /sarcasm –  GalacticCowboy Nov 8 '11 at 20:42
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I don't know if that would be sarcasm, but I think that's the idea. –  Richard Nov 8 '11 at 20:44

5 Answers 5

What he's saying here can easily be understood as "What you have said is true."

We can see this more clearly when we look at a parallel accounting of the event found in Mark:

Mark 14:61b-62a (NASB)
Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said, “I am."

So, in Mark he says "I am" and in Matthew he says "You have said it so." Because of the parallel answer in Matthew, that can be understood as "What you have said is true."

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Good call. Now I wonder why Matthew might have changed the wording of the answer to claim a bit less? (One answer is that he was working from a different source in the Passion account. The Synoptic connection starts to break down at the end of the various gospels as the authors turn to their own, unique narratives.) –  Jon Ericson Nov 8 '11 at 23:34
    
Good question, good answer. –  DJClayworth Nov 9 '11 at 4:28
    
I don't think you can prove what Matthew meant by saying what Mark said. –  lonesomeday Nov 9 '11 at 10:51
    
@lonesomeday No, you're right. You also have to read the text of Matthew itself to understand. "You have said it so" can mean many things, one of which is "What you said is true". We can infer from Mark that this is the correct interpretation. (Sorry, I skipped that logical step.) –  Richard Nov 9 '11 at 11:46
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@lonesomeday Well, I guess that explains your viewpoint nicely, then. Thanks for the input. –  Richard Nov 9 '11 at 13:33

I think it's helpful to consider the larger context. In verse 62, the high priest asks him "what are these people accusing you of?". Jesus doesn't answer and so the high priest gets up and asks him under oath whether he's the Messiah. The high priest clearly knew what Jesus was being accused of after all, so Jesus basically says "you said it yourself!" with the wonderful double meaning of both "you answered the question yourself" and "oh, by the way, it's true". And to remove any doubt about that second meaning, he continues with a statement so clear in its implication that the high priest considers it blasphemous.

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One should also point out that this is something funny, it's a humorous reply, as "Hey, dude, you said it, not me." It's a way of showing how Jesus rises above the serious occasion to make a joke, even though he is to be put to death. –  Ron Maimon Sep 5 '12 at 5:59

Jesus answers the question for us. When Peter proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus said only the Father revealed it to him.

Mt 16.16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Now the high priest had not been around Jesus as much as Peter, so his direct instruction was even less than that of Peter. How did he know how to ask such a direct question? The Jews did not expect the messiah to be the Son of God [1], but a man who would free them from Rome.

Mt 26.63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

He knew the same way that Peter did. The Father had revealed it to the High Priest, but rather than acknowledge it, he would rather kill him. [2]

64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: ...

Jesus is saying that the High Priest has testified himself that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, by merely asking him the question, that would have been out of character for a mere human understanding of what Jesus was doing.

Jesus also confimed that the priests knew the truth when he called them a brood of vipers:

Mt 23.33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

The serpent is a reference to the serpent of the garden which was the father of lies.

[1] Mt 16.14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

[2] Joh 18:14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

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I'm surprised no one mentioned Matthew 26:25! It's the same chapter:

And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “ You have said it yourself.” (KJV)

No one questions what Jesus meant here, do they? Same exact phrase is used. There is no question that Jesus's answer is an affirmation, just as in verse 64 He affirms that He indeed is the Son of God.

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Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! That's a simple and persuasive argument. Thanks. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 16:49

Note...because the servant is not greater than the lord (but his servants are now friends so they are friends). If I am reading this correctly..he is saying

that the world is the servant of Satan (the prince of the world)(...and since he who persecutes him (Satan)..is served by the world..the world will persecute his disciples because they are friends with God and not with who they serve which is Satan. (Vipers). The implication I derive is that the world hated God which is why even in Exodus after being freed they could not stick to God's Word. He came as man to make his point to prove it, and that they did.

1 John 2:15 Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010) Do not love the world, neither the things that are in it, for whoever loves the world does not have the love of The Father in him

John 15: 18 If the world hate you, ye know that IT HATED ME BEFORE it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

So what is the point? They had eyes but could not See, ears but could not hear. When the blind man is healed he is now the one who sees and it is they who are now blind, as later it can be noted that when he said, I came into the world to give sight to the blind, and to take away sight from those who See.

Point is, despite what was said, He didn't knwo or realize what He said and all that mattered was the opinion of other men of the world.

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Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics. While you address the question in your last sentence, it's difficult to see how the earlier parts of your answer contribute to answering the question. Also, unless there is some really important part of the text you want to highlight, I'd suggest simply linking to any texts you want to quote as there are plenty of online Bible resources. –  Soldarnal Oct 17 '12 at 20:59

protected by Jon Ericson Oct 17 '12 at 22:12

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