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John 11:45-56

The Word of God

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.’ He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, ‘What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?’

John 11:45-56
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Caiaphas was a Saducee, ruthless, political, determined to buttress the status quo and the privileges of his wealthy class. He uses the argument of the powerful in every age: we must eliminate the awkward trouble-maker in the name of the common good – meaning the comfort of the Sadducees. But he spoke wiser than he knew. One man, Jesus, was to die for the people, and for me.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Caiaphas is afraid that the popularity of Jesus will draw down the wrath of Rome and destroy both the temple – the holy place - and the nation. In his blindness he cannot see that the Jewish people are themselves the temple. Do I appreciate that I too am a temple of the living God? Lord, take away my blindness to that I can see myself as you see me.
    • The chief priests and the scribes – among the most learned people in Israel – did not recognise Jesus. Blinded by prejudice, they decide to put him to death. Do I ever harbour death wishes for another, even sub-consciously?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • With dramatic irony, Caiaphas the high priest, a cynical and pragmatic Saducee, spoke wiser than he knew. As one of the rich establishment, he feared that Jesus would disturb the status quo, so he had to be eliminated.
    • Lord, this prophecy touches me too, as one of the dispersed children of God for whom you died.