What does "It is you who have said it" mean?

The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday twice had Jesus saying, “It is you who have said it” or a variation of that phrase. Why would He answer that way? If someone says, “Are you the Son of God?” or, “Are you a king?” they are asking a question, not making a statement. Could you explain Our Lord’s answer? Thank you!

In the first instance Jesus says those words, the implication is fairly clear:

And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” …Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

  • Matthew 26:21-22,26

Note that 11 of the Apostles call Jesus “Lord” while Judas only calls Jesus “Rabbi.” Who would betray someone they think is the Lord? But someone could betray a “mere” Rabbi. By his own words Judas confirms that he is the one to betray Jesus.

In the other cases it is perhaps a but murkier to figure out:

But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so…" - Matthew 26:63-64

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” - Matthew 27:11

In these cases Jesus seems to be playing a legal word game of sorts. They are bringing charges against Jesus but they cannot seem to use his own words against him. But what they are saying is that Jesus’ actions imply that he is claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God and the King of the Jews. They are only able to ask these questions because of how he has lived. Jesus is pointing out the irony that it is his enemies who are revealing that Jesus *is *these things through their own recognition of his actions.

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