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 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.
Personalize the meaning. Respond as God speaks to you through the Scriptures. Ask: How could my life be different today as I respond to what I’m reading?
Here is another example of the use of irony in John’s Gospel (cf. note on 9:13–34). Caiaphas, the high priest, unwittingly prophesied that Jesus’ death would be a vicarious, substitutionary atonement. The God of all grace is sovereignly at work, at all times and in all places. He sits in heaven and laughs derisively at those who plot and scheme against his saving purposes in his Son (Ps. 2:2–4). (1)
- What stood out?
- Why did the religious leaders want Jesus to die?
- How or even why is God’s plan not thwarted by the religious leaders?
- John 11:50 is ironic, why so?
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.”
End in Prayer
- Gospel Transformation Study Bible