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Lesson # John 11:55-57
Study Material - John 11:55-57
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55 And [de] the Jews [Ioudaios] ' passover [pascha] was [en] nigh at hand [eggus] : and [kai] many [polus] went [anabaino] out of [ek] the country [chora] up [eis] to Jerusalem [Hierosoluma] before [pro] the passover [pascha] , to [hina] purify [hagnizo] themselves [heautou] .
56 Then [oun] sought they for [zeteo] Jesus [Iesous] , and [kai] spake [lego] among [meta] themselves [allelon] , as they stood [histemi] in [en] the temple [hieron] , What [tis] think [dokeo] ye [humin] , that [hoti] he will [erchomai] not [ou me] come [erchomai] to [eis] the feast [heorte] ?
57 Now [de] both [kai] the chief priests [archiereus] and [kai] the Pharisees [Pharisaios] had given [didomi] a commandment [entole] , that [hina] , if [ean] any man [tis] knew [ginosko] where [pou] he were [esti] , he should shew [menuo] it, that [hopos] they might take [piazo] him [autos] . KJV-Interlinear
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Therefore they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another, as they stood in the temple, 'What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?' 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him. NASB
The chief priests refer to those who serve in the organization in the Temple in Jerusalem, which was run primarily by the Sadducees. The Pharisees were primarily from the various outlying synagogues.
Jesus is a man like no other. Not exactly moving about incognito, He is followed by the twelve apostles, other various disciples, and crowds who number in the hundreds and thousands. His reputation precedes Him. People know when He enters into a town, and where he is staying. People know when He leaves and many follow.
People from various other communities come seeking Jesus. They obviously know where to go to find Him. If you peek ahead to verse 20 of the next chapter, there are Greeks, who have traveled a long way to see Jesus. They didn't have trouble finding Him.
What does this all mean? Look at our last verse in this passage. The Pharisees have issued an order that if anyone should know where Jesus is, then they are to turn Him in so that He can be arrested. Tough sounding talk, but not really meant to end up in an arrest of Jesus.
This is an intimidation tactic against the common public meant to create an atmosphere of fear or uncertainty in the masses. And so the gossip. 'Will Jesus show up, or not show for the Passover?' 'Will Jesus be too scared to come the Jerusalem? Will He stay away and avoid a confrontation with the power of the Priesthood?' And so the gossip goes.
If the powers that be really wanted to arrest Jesus, they could have, but they do not intend to arrest Him, because they fear Him more than they admit. This tactic is directed at the common peoples such that they, fearing the justice of the Priesthood, might stay away from Jesus and this might even reduce His influence on them.
No reward is offered, but that will change when Judas comes forward to give up Jesus. Then a reward is paid. As we will see eventually in this study of the final days before the Cross, the Priests et. al., having no real plans of substance, will seize upon the opportunity which presents itself on that last day during Passover.
The crowds will be quieted and sequestered due to the ritual habits of the Passover Feast schedule. Judas will present an opportunity to the Priests. Jesus can be arrested in the night without anyone knowing, tried, and executed basically before the majority of folks know what is happening. All this will happen in the space of a few short hours. The public who are present, will perceive His silence as weakness when confronted with the power of the Priests. He was expected to be the new king, but the beatings He will receive, and the silence He will observe, will cause the fickle crowd to turn on Him and wish His condemnation. With no conviction whatsoever the public will act with emotion, ridicule, and implacability - 'We thought you would be our King. Where is your power? Come down from that Cross. Squash all these rulers if you are God.' And so the public criticism will be ruthless, 'Crucify Him!'
But for now, the gossip, the cautious doubt, the question of whether Jesus will face the mighty Sanhedrin. The public knowledge of Christ really was clueless.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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