It's commonly agreed upon that the Ministry of Jesus lasted at least 3 years. However, the plot to arrest Jesus begins only a few days before his crucifixion according to Matthew 26:1-5. Do we know if Jesus was actively persecuted during his Ministry (and/or earlier in his adult life) by command of either the Roman government or the Jewish leaders at any point other than the few days immediately leading up to his crucifixion?


3 Answers 3


According to the Gospel of John, Jesus avoided to go to Jerusalem in public quite early John 2:23-25:

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

This was evident in John7, quite early in his ministry:

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want a to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him . . ..

Also, according to Mark, Jesus admonished people not to spread out his ministry before time, knowing that he would then not be able to fulfill the task God gave him as a Messenger and as the Messiah (Mark 7:36 ff). Jesus's admonishments, however, fell on deaf ears.

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

He later was menaced (see John 10 ff).

He had enemies, and he knew it.

The answer to your question is: Yes, he was definitely menaced by Jewish authorities.

The Gospel narratives do not say explicitly that Jesus was persecuted by Roman authorities. Nevertheless, it cannot be excluded that he may have been persecuted by Romans as the Gospel writers themselves were, so that they had a motivation to avoid that issue.


Yes, Jesus was "hounded" by the Jews for all three years of His ministry. In fact, He was even "hounded" by Satan Himself. (Matthew 4:1-11).

At John 2:15 Jesus made a scourge of cords and drove them all of the temple etc. Jesus says at vs16, "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a house of merchandise." Vs 18, "The Jews therefore answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?"

At John 2:19 Jesus says, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Jesus was also confronted at John 5:17-18. John 8:56-59. John 10:30-38. You can read these references yourself where the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy.

Now we come to the trial record at Matthew 26:57-67 which again you can read it yourself but I will go over the main points. Jesus is before the high priest Caiaphas, vs57.

Vs59, "Now the high priest and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death." Vs60, and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward,

Vs61, and said, "This man stated, "I am able to destroy this temple of God and rebuild in three days." What's ironic is the Jews remembered what Jesus said three years ago at John 2:19 which shows they had it in for Jesus for at least three years.

Now, at vs63 the high priest Caiaphas said to Jesus, "I adjure You by the living God, that you tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." The priest is asking Jesus to swear before God as to His identity. (1) Are you the Christ/Messian, and (2) the Son of God. This sentence contains two claims and at Luke 22:70 Jesus says, "Yes, I am." Vs65, "Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;"

So, this begs the question? (1) Is it blasphemy to claim to be the Christ/Messiah. (2) Is it blasphemy to claim to be the Son of God?

  • 1
    You seem to have veered off the topic of the question for some reason. But the first half is up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 10:13
  • 1
    @NigelJ Thanks for the up-vote. I don't believe I was off topic for the simple reason that I was taking the question to its logical conclusion. Remember I gave John 2:19 where Jesus said to destroy this temple etc. From there I gave verses of the Jews "hounding" Jesus up to His trial. Then at the trial they brought false witnesses who stated that Jesus was going to destroy the temple. Of course He was referring to the temple of His body (John 2:21) but yet the Jews remembered what Jesus stated three years ago. Finally, He swore as to His identity resulting in His crucifixion and death.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 20:55

The text in Matthew 26:1-5 speaks of the plot being two days before the Passover, but if we place ourselves in John 11:53 onwards we have to; when Jesus resurrected Lazarus, the Pharisees of the council agreed to kill him and it was days before the moment that he reminded his disciples about the plot.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .