“The Threat of Truth”
John 11:45-57 Jesus is sentenced to die.
We noted in verse 45 last week that the Resurrection of Lazarus, the 7th sign or miracle according to John, was the occasion of many onlookers in Bethany believing in Jesus. Verse 46 reveals that not all believed. I suggested last week that the “Jews” who attended Mary and Martha in their grief were comprised of friends from Bethany and representatives of the council in Jerusalem. I think verse 46 is reporting the actions of this second group. The religious leadership in Jerusalem found Jesus to be an extremely dangerous person. __________________________________________________________
The Scripture invites us, “Come, let us reason together.” So let’s look in on the reasoning of the council described in verses 47-50.
1. The chief priests and the Pharisees – _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________
2. This man works many signs – This is the key problem. Jesus does the work of God and He has declared that He only does what His Father tells Him to do and the signs are confirmation of this very reality. This has been recognized for a long time: John 3:2, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3. If we let Him alone – they had two primary fears voiced in verse 48:
Everyone will believe in Him. ________________________________________________________
The Romans will come and take away both our place and nation. __________________________ It is interesting to note that these fears were lived out in AD 70 when the Temple was destroyed and the people dispersed.
4. “it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people” - _________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ C. John interjects a note for our understanding in verses 51 & 52. Caiaphas worried that “the whole nation should perish”, thus the death of one was a better choice. John amplifies what is going on here and uses a different Greek word for nation in verse 52. John is looking forward to the holy nation that will rise by faith because of Jesus death. Caiaphas was concerned with Israel but John knows that God is concerned with all of humanity. We are the children of God scattered abroad.
With these activities as we noted last week, the public ministry of Jesus has concluded. Everything is now pointing to the coming Passover which is quickly approaching. Jesus will soon fulfill the prophesy of the suffering servant, “He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid or faces from Him. He was despised and we did not esteem Him.” (Isaiah 53:3)
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