The Jews Respond to Lazarus

Hello everyone. We’re continuing our study of the doctrine of the Trinity and the self-understanding of Jesus. We’ve been going through the New Testament trying to find information on the doctrine, which is kind of like trying to find seashells on the beach. Yesterday, we read about the resurrection of Lazarus. Today, we’re going to see what the Jewish leaders said in response to this miracle of Jesus. We start at verse 45 of chapter 11 and continue to the end:

45Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

   “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

 49Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

 51He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

 54Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

 55When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the Feast at all?” 57But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone found out where Jesus was, he should report it so that they might arrest him.

It’s interesting that there is no denial that this miracle has been done, but despite raising someone from the dead, the Jews STILL don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah. (Kind of makes you wonder about all these people who thought the Jews would be gullible ancients who’d believe anything.)

What’s the concern? The concern is that Jesus will get a following and that this will turn into a revolution and the Romans will come and take away their nation. The tragedy about this is that the Romans came and took away their nation anyway.

Caiaphas says it is better that one perish than the whole nation. John tells us that he had prophesied earlier that year that Jesus would perish to bring all the children of God back. He prophesied that, but he did not understand it. He thought that the crucifixion of Jesus would unite the Jews in stading against Rome. God instead used the sacrifice of Christ to unite all the children of God, not just Jews, together in him. This is what we see in the book of Ephesians.

As a result of this, Jesus cannot be out in public. The decision has been made. The die is cast. The Jews seek to take the life of Jesus and the next time they meet, something is going to happen.

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