At the end of John chapter 11, the Jewish High Priest prophesied about the Messiah and the Nation of Israel. He says, “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). Sadly, Caiaphas the High Priest, didn’t understand what he was really saying. In fact, if someone would have explained to him he had just prophesied that Jesus was the Messiah whose death would cover the sins of the people, Caiaphas probably would have struck out in anger at that person the way he and the other ruling officials did in Matthew 26. Caiaphas believed he was justified in plotting to kill Jesus. He believed killing Jesus would be good for the Jews, not to cover their sins and make a way for salvation, but only so the Romans would not see Jesus as a threat. The context of his prophecy is recorded in the passage below, at a meeting of the Jewish leaders following the news Jesus had prayed over and spoke the dead man Lazarus awake from the grave.
John 11:47-53:

“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 a high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all!  You do not realize that it is better for you that one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

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.

A sad sad story. The High Priest spoke the truth, spoke what would be recorded as God’s Word contained in the Word of God, and yet, he did not know what he was saying. If you are ever feeling strongly against someone if you ever find yourself despising or conspiring against another person, watch out! You may be following the devil’s plans and not the Lord’s way of love.

John Riley
Jr. High Pastor

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