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Lesson # Matt. 26:3-5
Study Material - Matt. 26:3-5
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3 Then [tote] assembled together [sunago] the chief priests [archiereus] , and [kai] the scribes [grammateus] , and [kai] the elders [presbuteros] of the people [laos] , unto [eis] the palace [aule] of the high priest [archiereus] , who [ho] was called [lego] Caiaphas [Kaiaphas] ,
4 And [kai] consulted [sumbouleuo] that [hina] they might take [krateo] Jesus [Iesous] by subtilty [dolos] , and [kai] kill [apokteino] him.
5 But [de] they said [lego] , Not [me] on [en] the feast [heorte] day, lest [hina me] there be [ginomai] an uproar [thorubos] among [en] the people [laos] . KJV-Interlinear
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; 4 and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth, and kill Him. 5 But they were saying, 'Not during the festival, lest a riot occur among the people.' NASB
Most of the priests and elders both feared and hated Jesus, not for religious reasons, but for political reasons. They feared losing their positions of profit and power. They cared nothing for the nation, they cared nothing for the people, except to the extent that the masses could be used to their own personal advantages and pleasure and profit. Apart from those uses, the priests and elders had no use for the people of the general population. They were driven purely by greed, selfishness, and arrogant ambition.
For centuries the office of High Priest was held by dozens of persons. Caiaphas held the office for 22 years from A.D. 15 to 37. He was not in the line of the High Priests of the tribe of Levi, but he married the daughter of his predecessor, and thus 'bought' into the position. Caiaphas was also driven by whatever was expedient to his own agenda, John 11:50, 'nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people ...' NASB. Thus even he prophesied the death of Christ.
Here were the so called experts of the day with regard to the scriptures. Yet they missed the entire point of that which they held themselves out to be expert. They did not think of God as someone to be a servant to, but rather looked to God as a convenient means to their own selfish end. We see a lot of this in many of the religions of our current day. Anything that is false has no honorable intent, but only an agenda of dishonor.
We also see a great deal of Satan at work in these days just prior to the Passover Feast. Here in these verses we learn that the discussion is to get rid of Jesus, but not during the period of the Passover. This teaches us that the elders et. al. wanted to arrest Jesus, hold Him during the feasts days, and then after the Feast was over, get rid of Him quietly.
Why? Because there were a great many people in Jerusalem during the feast celebrations. Josephus describes the events as having over 200,000 sacrifices, and that there were at least ten people for each sacrifice. This means that the population of Jerusalem and the surrounding area swelled to well over two million people. The normal population was just a small fraction of that number.
The leaders did not want to start a rebellion among the population that only a short time before were laying down palm branches and clothing, singing praises - 'Hosanna.' Little did they realize that it would be that same crowd who would turn on Jesus and demand his immediate execution.
Had the crucifixion been delayed or even prevented, or if Jesus had died by some other means, or not at all, then Satan would have won the angelic conflict. But God knowing all things that would happen in history (foreknowledge) knew just what would occur, and that Satan would fail, as would all those who set themselves against Christ. The power of the fever of hate would take control and Jesus would be taken to the Cross, as planned in eternity past.
The elders and priests intended that Jesus be removed as a threat to their way of life. The crowd intended for Jesus to provide for all their wants and desires, and so long as He appeared to be heading for the throne, they were cheering Him on, but when He appeared to be weak and refused to even defend Himself, speaking not a word, the crowd turned against Him in their ruthlessness, demanded his immediate execution.
As a result the priests will have another dilemma. But that is getting a little ahead of our study.
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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