The Sanhedrin plot to kill Jesus

A dignified-looking, middle-aged gentleman decided to take advantage of a special sale and buy his wife a pair of nylons. After waiting an hour on the fringe of a screaming, pushing mob of women, he plunged toward the counter with both arms flying. Suddenly a shrill voice hollere … More

Threatened

Many of those who witnessed the miracle (the raising of Lazarus from the dead) believed in Jesus (v. 45). A Faith based solely on miracles is not the best faith (see John 2:23), but it’s better than no faith at all. Others who witnessed the miracle went and reported to the Pharisees what they had seen (v. 46). When Jesus presents Himself there are always two responses. Some believe on Him, and others are hardened in their sin. 

Upon learning of this, the Jewish council (the Sanhedrin) met to discuss what to do with Jesus (v. 47). Jesus’s popularity, they feared, would continue to grow with each miracle he performed. More and more people were concluding that Jesus was the Messiah. If He gathered too many followers, He might get the attention of the Roman authorities, which could hurt the Jewish cause (v. 48). Behind closed doors, they admitted that Jesus had performed miracles, though publicly they did not admit this. Likely, it was Nicodemus who later reported these things to John.

Caiaphas, the high priest, reasons that if Jesus lived, the nation would die (vv. 49-52). In the interest of patriotism, he said, Jesus had to die so that the nation would live. Incidentally, Caiaphas had received his current position and authority from the Romans. While Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin viewed Jesus as a scapegoat to be sacrificed to preserve their religious power and authority, God viewed Jesus as the perfect lamb whose sacrificial death would save all who put their faith in him. 

 

These leaders thought they were in control of the situation, but instead God was working out His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23). Christ would die to save the nation spiritually, whereas Caiaphas intended for Him to die to save the nation politically.

 

Application

Have you known of a Christian leader who felt threatened by another Christian who was successful? This was a big problem with the religious leaders in Jesus’ day and is still a problem today. Lord, help me to rejoice when another person is praised, and I am not.

John 11:45-52 (English Standard Version)


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