TEXT: John 11:47-54
THE PLAN TO HALT CHRIST’ PROGRESS—John 11:47-48
We have consistent report of the good works of our Lord Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth. Christ the Anointed was going about doing good to all people. He was healing different kind of the sicknesses, raising up the dead, restoring the eye-sight of the blind, casting out the demons from the demonic oppressed people, making the lame and the impotent people to once again function effectively. His fame and popularity soared. He became the talk of the town. All these did not go down well in the minds of the Scribes, the Pharisee, the Sadducees and the office of the High Priest of His time. The reason was that all these uncommon miracles that Jesus Christ did, make them to become very unpopular.
At the onset of Christ Ministry, Satan tempted Him. He tempted Him food, with pride and power and lastly, tried to lure Him with wealth. We learn about the three-way attack of Satan, to kill, to steal and to destroy—“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) All these attempts failed. We have a report that the Tempter left Him. The statement does not mean that Devil never bothered with Christ anymore. The enemy now hid behind the curtain of inherent human wicked characters to incite the religious leaders of His time, that should have champion the course of the ministry of the Messiah and promote His mission of mercy greatly. Unknowingly, these leaders did not realize that they are yielding to the directive of Satan. “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.” (John 8:39-41)
Having known that these religious leaders were planning and scheming to arrest and kill Jesus Christ, why then did God allowed these persecutors to carry out their wickedness against Christ? Far beyond the wickedness of Satan and the narrow-mindedness of the religious leader was the plan of Almighty God. Jesus Christ must die as a lamb for sacrifice before salvation can be the portion of mankind. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7) That was why God allowed the wicked plots and scheming of enemy. Everything these people were doing was in the master plan of God for the purpose of salvation of man.
Many times we think knows a lot about human being. Only God is all knowing Supreme God. The evil plan of Satan is to kill Jesus Christ, or lure Him to commit sin so that no one will be able to rescue man from eternal destruction. If Satan had had knowledge that through the death of Jesus Christ, humanity will be able to attain and embrace salvation, the enemy should have done all things to prevent the death of Jesus Christ. Praise God, the master plan of our salvation is in the hands of Almighty God.
THE PROPHECY OF THE HIGH PRIEST—John 11:49-52
The role of the High Priest in the plot of arrest of Jesus Christ is note-worthy. Although we see all the episode afar off as the issue of politics so that they will not lose their nation to the Roman Empire if the people embraced a gospel which advocated peace and love for enemies instead of force and violence.
Their so called traditions of the fathers which had been eroded with their personal and secular interest as a result they resolved that Jesus Christ must be put to death.
He suggested in his own selfish thought and whims, without the usage of the Urim and Thummim the oracular device that priest always use to inquire about the mind of God concerning spiritual issues. He decided that Jesus Christ an innocent man should be put to death for public safety. Obviously, this was of course a devilish policy. Closed to this wicked policy like this in our time was the quotation of Thomas Jefferson that says, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Caiaphas was insisting according to the principles of politics, “That the welfare of communities is to be preferred before that of particular persons.” Therefore it is expedient for priests, whose all lies at stake, that one man should die for the people, so that in his own thought that other people will not be misled to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
Although, Caiaphas did not make this statement in good faith. In fact he was not of himself, it was of course the language of his enmity and evil policy towards Jesus Christ, but in these words he prophesied, though he himself was not aware of it, that Jesus should die for that nation.
Further than all these, are the spiritual connotations of the plot of Christ arrest.
- The animal must be taken from the fold of the flock.
- The priest must certify the offering animal and it must be without blemish. Jesus was physically and spiritually without blemish because He was an innocent person and not sinner.
- The offering animal must be separated—hence his arrest—“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month.” (Exodus 12:5-6)
PRECAUTION DURING CHRIST’S PERSECUTION—John 11:53-54
Mission goals versus strategy and wisdom to accomplish them is a food for thought in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews—the Creator chose not to walk openly among His creatures. He did this because He knew the intent of their hearts. He had not fulfilled all the important aspects of His ministries with the disciples, and He did not want the religious authorities to terminate His life before the completion of the work of the ministry.
There is nothing wrong in applying wisdom to avoid dancing into the hands of enemy. Avoiding to walk into the hazardous traps of the wicked ones is not an act of cowardice. Jesus counseled the disciples saying, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16
- Paul was let down in a basket by the wall “And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.” Acts 9:23-25
- When Paul got information that 40 Jews were planning to kill him before his trial, he informed the civil authorities and he was delivered. Acts 23:23-31
It is foolishness and not faith to defy warnings of danger in the course of Christian ministry. When problem is envisaged in the ministry, do not quit your Christian ministry, rather, seek for an alternative way to accomplish the work of your ministry.