Annas asks Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine, seeking to compel Jesus to testify against Himself. Jesus rightly refused to respond to this questioning because this hearing is illegal. Under Jewish law, a man was presumed innocent until he was demonstrated to be guilty. The preliminary appearance was supposed to be where witnesses brought testimony. Annas had no right to ask Jesus anything until the evidence of witnesses had been taken. If the stories of the witnesses matched, then a charge would be brought. However, this whole process was not about truth, but about power. The establishment felt threatened.
Why do you ask me? Annas was fishing for incriminating information, and Jesus knew this was a mockery. One of the officers who stood by considered the response of Jesus to be insolent, and so he struck Him. Jesus points out this obvious injustice. This is what happens when a supposed inquiry doesn’t follow the rule of law. When legal rights do not exist, or are violated, “interrogation” becomes synonymous with physical abuse and torture. This is precisely what we see in the New Testament (cf. Acts 22:24, 29), and today.
Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. And the greatest “kangaroo court” in history rolled on. People talk about Christians being judgmental a lot, but ironically, it is the unbeliever who often has passed sentence ahead of time. Professing Christians will also be prejudicial towards you at times. Most often, devoid of any real knowledge of what they are speaking about. You should be ready to give an answer, but you don’t have to defend yourself, if your life speaks for itself (Colossians 4:5-6 / 1 Peter 3:15-16).