March 24, 2022
“So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, 'What are we going to do since this man does many signs?'”
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“So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, ‘What are we going to do since this man does many signs? If we let Him continue in this way, everybody will believe in Him! Then the Romans will come and remove both our place (the Temple) and our nation.’” John 11:47-48
In the days of Jesus, the common misconception concerning Messiah was that He would be a political and military leader. That was not just the inclination of the uneducated commoner. It was also the opinion of the educated religious leaders.
So, when the Pharisees and Sadducees rejected Jesus, they were not rejecting the idea that He would atone for sin. They rejected the notion that He would be a victorious military leader. No doubt, passages like Isaiah 53, the “suffering servant,” were mysterious to them.
According to their testimony, the religious leaders were afraid that Jesus would draw the people to Himself and that attention would draw undue Roman persecution aimed at the entire Jewish community. In their disbelief (that Jesus was Messiah), their main concern was that the Romans would disturb/damage the Temple and that its priests would become victims of collateral damage.
“One of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! You’re not considering that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish.’ He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, not for the nation only but also to unite the scattered children of God. So from that day on they plotted to kill Him.” John 11:49-53
There are two High Priests mentioned in the gospels during the trial of Jesus: Caiaphas and Annas. This is odd because the High Priest was to serve for life. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Caiaphas was Annas’ son–in–law. Annas had been deposed as High Priest by the Roman government for spreading messages of sedition and was replaced by his more compliant (in the opinion of the Romans) son-in-law. This explains Caiaphas’ attitude concerning the preservation of Israel as a nation.
As in the Old Testament instances of sinful king Saul and Balaam prophesying amid their unbelief, Caiaphas also prophesied. Because his heart was not seeking the truth, Caiaphas could not understand God’s revelation, although he spoke it from his mouth!
When you read God’s word, lay aside your personal agendas. Ask Him to reveal His “Way,” that you may walk in it, and lead others on the path of righteousness. Proverbs 3:5-6