Many of the people who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did, and they believed in him. But some of them returned to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the Pharisees and the chief priests met with the Council and said, “What shall we do? Look at all the miracles this man is performing! If we let him go on in this way, everyone will believe in him, and the Roman authorities will take action and destroy our Temple and our nation!”
One of them, named Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, said, “What fools you are! Don’t you realize that it is better for you to have one man die for the people, instead of having the whole nation destroyed?” Actually, he did not say this of his own accord; rather, as he was High Priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish people, and not only for them, but also to bring together into one body all the scattered people of God.
From that day on the Jewish authorities made plans to kill Jesus. So Jesus did not travel openly in Judea, but left and went to a place near the desert, to a town named Ephraim, where he stayed with the disciples.
The time for the Passover Festival was near, and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem to perform the ritual of purification before the festival. They were looking for Jesus, and as they gathered in the Temple, they asked one another, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where Jesus was, he must report it, so that they could arrest him. (John 11:45-57)
Unless you read biblical commentary, little is known about Caiaphas, other than he is one of the “bad guys” in the plot against our Lord. According to my commentary in my NIV Study Bible, Caiaphas was the high priest from A.D 18-36 (ordinarily this was a position you held for life) but it doesn’t mention how he lost this privileged title. Both the chief priests and the Pharisees were primary opponents of Jesus. Both groups lacked political power. They didn’t deny the acts or that Jesus was able to perform miracles, they just didn’t understand the meaning of them because they did not believe Jesus was the Messiah.
According to their laws, Caiaphas, as High Priest was divinely appointed and believed to have prophetic powers. Under normal circumstances, stoning would have been the method of execution for Jesus. But here is where the full weight of God’s control takes effect. God would determine how his son would die in order that he might pay for our sins. God would be in control. The Pharisees and the Sanhedrin had to seek a higher political power to accomplish their task, instead of letting the people blame them for stopping Jesus.
God would be in control. It seems like a simple idea for those times, an idea people seemed to accept. I wonder why it’s so hard to accept this idea today. It sure is for me. We scurry about trying to shape our own worlds. Trying to control the circumstances of our lives, void of whatever God may have already planned for us. Trying to force people into our way of thinking, our way of living. Accepting God’s plans and dreams for our lives are just a very small part of how very much He loves us. How much he wants for us. How much He desires time with us. Allowing God to take the lead in our lives is incredibly hard.
I’m not sure who said “ACCEPTANCE is the better part of valor,” but it may be one to contemplate. This is not to say we should simply not care or sit by or let others walk all over us, but it may mean that we prayerfully consider our actions and seek God’s direction in every possible aspect and every moment of our lives.
Dearest Abba Father, Why is it so hard for me to let you be in control of my life? Please help me to trust you more completely. To let you be my source of all things sacred to this world. ~Amen~
Written by Fran Baatz