Popularity and jealousy!
Scripture reading for May 21st: John 11:54-12:19
Jesus’ miracle of raising Lazarus caused quite a stir! Many Jews who had come to comfort Mary and Martha believed in Jesus as the Christ. Others went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. The Sanhedrin was convened to discuss what to do with Jesus. These religious leaders were jealous and concerned that all the people would believe in Jesus and that this would stir up the Romans who would destroy their Temple and nation.
During the discussion, Caiaphas, the high priest spoke to the group. “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.” (John 11:50) John recorded that this statement was a prophetic word that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation and for the other scattered children of God. This is how they came to the conclusion that they would seek to kill Jesus. (John 11:51-53)
It is interesting that Jesus’ greatest miracle brought the religious leaders together to kill Him. Caiaphas spoke prophetically, guided by God, to tell the plan of God for the Jewish nation and the world. Even though these men did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, God used their positions and authority to promote His plan of redemption!
Jesus again returned to Bethany six days before Passover and went to Lazarus’ home and ate with the family at a banquet in His honor. (John 12:1-2) Here He was anointed by Mary with expensive perfume. Jesus knew and stated that Mary did this to prepare Him for burial. A large crowd had come to see Jesus and Lazarus. This caused the chief priests to make plans to kill Lazarus too. They were worried about the many who were putting faith in Jesus and Lazarus’ miracle was drawing them!
Jesus’ entered Jerusalem the next day as the crowds welcomed Him with “Hosanna!”, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13) John recorded that Jesus fulfilled Zechariah 9:9: “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” It is interesting that the religious leaders were oblivious to prophetic fulfillment, and worried, “Look how the whole world has gone after Him.” That was God’s plan from the beginning!