Lesson 70

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw that which Jesus did, believed in him. 11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. 11:47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, "What are we doing? For this man does many signs. 11:48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

11:49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 11:50 nor do you take account that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish." 11:51 Now he didn't say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 11:52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 11:53 So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death. 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.

 Today's Lesson 

Here is another unique feature of the Gospel of John. In Today's Scripture, the author of the Gospel lays out the reason that the religious authorities in Jerusalem sought the death of Jesus of Nazareth. They felt that they had reason to punish Him already because of things that He had said and done in Jerusalem. He had healed on the Sabbath. There were questionable statements that most believed were blasphemous.


But, now, with the raising of Lazarus from the dead, they knew that His popularity with the people would be greater than ever. There would be many of the uneducated masses who, despite His blasphemous statements, would believe in these miraculous works. They did not feel that they could move boldly against him. There might be a popular uprising centered around this man if they did. Then, the Romans would come in and take away their own positions in society and the little freedom they still had.


Then Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, came to speak before them. He told them that they did not understand what needed to be done. It is better, said Caiaphas, that one man should die for the sake of the whole nation, than that the whole nation be lost. By this manner, he reasoned that Jesus should be executed, so that the Romans would have no reason to move against them.


John declares that Caiaphas did not speak these words for himself only. He prophesied these words because the death of Jesus was a part of the will of God. Caiaphas said these words in order to bring harm to Jesus because he thought that Jesus was evil. God had allowed these things to be revealed because He knew that Jesus must die as a sacrifice for all the people.


From that day forward, the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sought to put Jesus to death. They planned to arrest Him and have Him executed. And, they would have done so immediately had Jesus not withdrawn Himself once more into a city in the wilderness called Ephraim.


God knows the hearts of evil people. Even those who do not consider themselves to be evil, but who really are. Their plans do not surprise Him. There is nothing that people can do to us that God is not aware of and that is not within God's overall plan for our lives. We are not in the hands of evil men, even when they, temporarily, seem to have control of our lives.


We are in the hands of a God who loved us enough to die for our sake. We are in the hands of a God who was willing to sacrifice His own Son so that we might have the hope of salvation. And, we are in the hands of the One who was willing to be the sacrifice for us.


No matter how dire your circumstances, you can rest in His hands. No matter how bad it gets, you can be safe in His arms.


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