Annas (23/22 BC–death date unknown, probably around 40CE), son of Seth, was appointed by the Roman legate, Quirinius, as the first High Priest of the newly formed Roman province of Iudaea in 6AD; just after the Romans had deposed Archelaus, Ethnarch of Judaea, thereby putting Judaea directly under Roman rule.
Annas officially served as High Priest for 10years (6–15 AD), when, at the age of 36, he was deposed by the procurator Gratus. Yet while having been officially removed from office, he remained one of the nation’s most influential political and social individuals, aided greatly by the use of his 5 sons and his son-in-law as puppet High Priests. He was shrewd, wealthy, powerful, and politically influential… yet history knows him as the man who presided over the crucifixion of Jesus.
His death is unrecorded.
Annas appears in the Gospels as a high priest before whom Jesus is brought for judgment, prior to being brought before Pontius Pilate.
Luke 3:2 indicates a joint high priesthood “of Annas and Caiaphas” when the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.
The Plot to Kill Lazarus of Bethany
The involvement of the family of Annas may be implied in the plot to kill Lazarus of Bethany in John 12:10. Although Annas is not mentioned by name in the plot to kill Lazarus, there may be a concealed reference to Annas in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus which points at a “Rich man” with five sons (5 brothers).
The Trial of Jesus
According to the Gospel of John (the event is not mentioned in other accounts), Jesus was first brought before Annas, and after a brief questioning of Him (John 18:19-23) was sent to the home of Caiaphas, where some members of the Sanhedrin had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place (Matt. 26:57-68).
In the Book of Acts
After Pentecost, Annas presided over the Sanhedrin before which 2 apostles, Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6). They were beaten with rods and released, not arrested or killed.
Annas was considered a wise man, looked to by many for his wisdom in official matters.
Yet, how wise can one be if he misses the most obvious gift ever given to man? And how wise can one be if he is so focused on the now that he misses forever with God?
You can read the biblical story of Annas in Luke 3:2; John 12:10; 18:19-23; Matthew 26:57-68; Acts 4:6.