Explore the diverse reactions to Jesus' miracle of raising Lazarus and discover the profound divine plan hidden in unexpected places.
John 11:45-50 — Belief and Betrayal — Aneel Aranha
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel. Today we will reflect on John 11:45-50. Listen.
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 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. 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.”
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “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.”
It is remarkable how people can react so differently to a particular event. Consider the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus after the man had been dead for four days. Not surprisingly, astonishment and awe gripped those who witnessed this incredible miracle. I suspect there would have been a lot of fear too. But many came to believe in Jesus, recognizing his divine authority over life and death.
However, this display of divine power did not impress everyone the same way. The religious leaders, ever jealous of Jesus' growing influence, and obviously feeling threatened by it, reacted differently. They convened a council and began to discuss him. Their focus was not on the wondrous miracle itself but on the potential consequences of allowing Jesus to continue his ministry unchecked.
Caiaphas, the high priest, emerges as a central figure in this deliberation. In a surprising twist, he unintentionally prophesies about Jesus' redemptive work, declaring, "You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish" (John 11:50).
While Caiaphas's intent is to strategize against Jesus, his words unwittingly point to the sacrificial death of Jesus for the salvation of many. This unintended prophecy emphasizes the profound sovereignty of God, who can even use the words of those who oppose him to accomplish his divine plan.
In these verses, we see the intricate interplay of divine sovereignty, human response, and the unfolding drama of God's plan for salvation. It reminds us that God can work through even the opposition and doubts of humanity to bring about his purposes. As we reflect on this passage, we are invited to consider our own response to the signs and revelations of God in our lives. Are we like those who embrace him with faith, or do we allow fear and self-interest to hinder our recognition of his divine presence?
God bless you.