November 23, 2020 – Monday
John 11:45-47 NIV
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him.
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs.
48 If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
Last Thursday, November 19, we included v45 above in the conclusion to the comments. Today we find the Pharisees instead of believing in Him due to His raising Lazarus from the dead still not believing. Why do that instead of believing? One has to wonder. Perhaps because nothing in their lives had prepared them for something like this. They knew the stories, the prophecies, and what the Old Testament had foretold, but nonetheless they were unprepared for the reality of a Messiah who could head and raise the dead.
This may very well explain the reaction of the Pharisees who said, What are we accomplishing? Here is this man performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation. But their fear of the Romans made no sense. Perhaps they simply had to have a reason, any reason to oppose Jesus as scripture did say He would be rejected, and they were indeed busy rejecting Him. That was when the high priest for that year spoke up playing to their fear saying (v49-50), You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish. Scripture goes on to say (v51-53), He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take His life.
In the next chapter we will find they also plotted to kill Lazarus as well. When Jesus was in Bethany where Lazarus lived we read (v9-11), Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of Him but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in Him. It was as if they wanted to erase any evidence of His miracle with Lazarus and hoping all the other miracles would fade into distant memories. Such was not to be as we well know.
Although in our own time, there are people in many places and organizations who are doing their best to make us and others believe Jesus was a myth or at best simply a wise man, a sage. But that is not the case. He was either who He said He was or He was a fake or simply insane. Taking His statements as a whole Jesus was not simply a wise man or a sage, He was and is God’s Son who died for our sins and was raised up on the third day. He paid the price for our sins, taking on His Father’s wrath, and then conquering death. As it has been for 2,000 years, it is our choice on who and what we will believe.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank You for Your Son Jesus and how He and You showed such incredible love for all of us, providing a way for us to join You in heaven. Your mercy is beyond understanding. You have let the truth of Jesus and His sacrifice for us on the cross live through the ages if spite of those who want it hidden. Thank You. – In Jesus name. Amen.