45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.

55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for[a] Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

Personal Reflection and Discussion

In this section of scripture, we see the sinfulness of men…and it is ugly!  However, in only the way that God can do, He uses it to instruct us.  WOW! 

  1. The plot thickens. What do you make of verses 45 and 46? What do you think was behind the different responses to Lazarus’ resurrection?
  2. What do you think was the thinking, the reasoning of the Sanhedrin (vs. 47-48)? Of Caiaphas (vs. 49-52)?
  3. Verse 51 is crazy.  Jesus still works through sinners who are plotting to kill Him in order to confirm in power and might, without them realizing, they are just adding to the validity of him being the Christ.  How does God work through all people, even nonbelievers? 


Thank you, Lord, for teaching me through all means.  Even in my own sinfulness, you teach me.  Continue to draw me closer to you!  Amen.

Greek Word of the Day

English Word: Chief Priests | Transliterated Word: Archiereus (ar-kee-er-yuce)

High priest (literal of the Jews, typical Christ); by extension a chief priest. High priesthood.

Noun from archi- denoting rank (think arch bishop), and hiereus – priest. 

By the original divine appointment he was to be of the family of Aaron (Exodus 29:9), but by the time of the Roman Empire, the office had become venal and was given even to foreign Jews.  It was also no longer for life, so that there were often several persons living at one time who had borne the office, and still retained the title of high priest.  There appears also to have been a sagan, vicar or substitute for the high priest, to perform his duties on various occasions.  Such a substitute is not expressly mentioned in the Scripture, though such a person seems to be implied by the title “second priest” in 2 Kings 25:18 and Jeremiah 52:24.  In one of these senses Annas is called high priest (Luke 3:2 and John 18:13).

Christ is called archeirus and compared to the high priest of the Jews, as having offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin.  

Family Engagement Activity

In today’s reading, we see that God works through all things, even people trying to kill Jesus to prove he isn’t God.  Amazing!  Today, creatively use 5 different objects you don’t normally consider using to connect, nurture, and serve with others and God, and do it.  Some objects may include making a craft project for a neighbor or loved one, spelling out “God Is Love” with Q-tips and posting it on social media, maybe mowing your neighbors grass with your lawn mower, or making tasty treats for someone.  

Going Activities To Consider

Allow some of your skeptic or agnostic friends to know that a fruit of the Spirit, a good and perfect gift, came from them.  Maybe tell them that you have seen God through their actions, remembering they don’t have to believe for you to believe that this is true. Thank them in some way, perhaps using an object that you don’t normally consider using as a way to worship and serve God. Feel free to say that you thank God for them, it might be the first time that they have heard that they have been used by God. 

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