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Lesson # John 11:51-53
Study Material - John 11:51-53
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51 And [de] this [touto] spake he [epo] not [ou] of [apo] himself [heautou] : but [alla] being [on] high priest [archiereus] that [ekeinos] year [eniautos] , he prophesied [propheteuo] that [hoti] Jesus [Iesous] should [mello] die [apothnesko] for that [huper] nation [ethnos] ;
52 And [kai] not [ou] for that [huper] nation [ethnos] only [monon] , but [alla] that [hina] also [kai] he should gather together [sunago] in [eis] one [heis] the children [teknon] of God [theos] that were scattered abroad [diaskorpizo] .
53 Then [oun] from [apo] that [ekeinos] day [hemera] forth they took counsel together [sumbouleuo] for to [hina] put [apokteino] him [autos] to death [apokteino] . KJV-Interlinear
51 Now this he did not say on his own initiative; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
An oracle is one who speaks of things yet to come. Often times the prophecy is spoken from ignorance, or with another purpose intended, however there often comes a dual purpose when the plan of God is involved, and especially when it involves Jesus Christ.
The High Priest that year was Caiaphas. As High Priest and the head of the Sadducees who controlled that office, who also controlled the Temple functions in Jerusalem, and the various merchant activities contained therein which controlled the very lucrative and profitable sales of sacrificial animals. You'll recall our study in Matthew. Then you realize that the advent of Jesus onto the scene, makes for a very uncomfortable priesthood, or rather their way of life in the fashion to which they have become accustomed.
The Temple and its functions was a long established institution, wrapped up in the worship of God, to whom all looked to in various forms of dedication. No one questioned its authority, its integrity, and its operation.
So now Jesus comes on the scene and claims to be the Messiah. This just upsets everything that the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the various elder groups of Judea, have going for themselves. So the logic of Caiaphas, is such that this Jesus is a fly in their ointment. If people begin to look to Him for their leadership, then that jeopardizes all their (the Sadducees, et..al.) plans and arrangements with Rome. If Rome is disturbed, then the vary fabric of their Temple life comes into jeopardy, and even Israel as a nation becomes jeopardized from an assault from Rome.
So, again Caiaphas becomes an unknowing oracle. 'This Jesus must die.' But in his mind (Caiaphas), Jesus must die in order to preserve the nation and the Temple functions as they are. Caiaphas knows of the Messiah, and now looks to the prophecies to twist them in such a way as to accomplish his own purpose. 'If someone is to die, then let be this Jesus.'
This is Gods objective, but with Caiaphas' motives. God still controls history. Now the plot intensifies. The Pharisees and their lot have been plotting to kill Jesus for a long time now, but they are inept people. They are skilled in the art of political double talk, deception, manipulation, and fraud when it comes to the presentation of the scriptures to the people. Like many politicians in our current day. The beast just cannot change his own spots.
But, when it comes to plotting more devious tasks, they are incompetent. Probably because they are cowards at heart. They speak boldly when in the privacy of their own offices ('We'll kill Him.'), but when in public they play the game of verbal ambiguity and legalism, ('Is this not a violation of our Law? To heal the blind, to cast out spirits, to touch, of all things, a leper. And on the Sabbath too. Terrible! Just terrible!'). They talk tough, but no one does anything. Actually no one has the courage to step forward to do anything about their tough talk. Thus their comment of the other day, 'What are we doing?' Which really means, 'Why haven't one of you other fellows done something about this man?' We can just see them all looking at each other.
The truth is that Jesus should die. That is the purpose for which He came into the world. But He came to pay the price of sin and death for all of mankind as our redeemer, as a substitute for each one of us. And this applies to everyone in every generation, throughout the world, for all of history.
Caiaphas thinks that Jesus should be gotten rid of in order to eliminate a political problem for his own way of life. That is the nature of the self centered and evil and corrupt person. 'Preserve my life style at all costs, and regardless of who it hurts, and of who gets in the way.' But, and there is always a but here. Someone else needs to do the dirty work. Cowards never do their own dirty work.
From that day forward they planned to kill Jesus. This is an intensification of their attitude, but what did they really do? No much. Lets listen in on their conversation ... 'Yea! We need to kill Him. Only one must die, so it might as well be Him. But how. Hummm! What do you think we should do? I don't know, what do you think? Hummm! I don't know, what do you think? I know! I know! We'll all look out for Him and when we see Him we'll arrest Him. Great! Lets have lunch.'
Now if you just peek ahead a few verses, you'll see that they emphasize that if anyone should know where He was then they should report it and then Jesus could be arrested, but we know that most everyone knew where Jesus was a week before the Passover. The chief priests even debated with Jesus in the Temple. How much closer could He have gotten to them. It took the acts of Judas before they would do anything, 'Let Judas do the dirty work.'
They could have called out the police, the army, mounted their horses or mules or whatever, with swords in hand, and gone out to find and arrest Jesus. He was not very difficult to find. Just follow the crowds, but this they did not do. Cowards they are. All self serving people are nothing more than deceitful cowards.
For now we have the latest of grand plans, 'Let everyone watch out for him.' Great plan guys! But we haven't got to those verses yet. There is a lot more to come.
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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