Summary: This is the 35th sermon in a series on the Gospel of John. In this sermon we look at Caiaphas, and how his desire for comfort led to his rejection of Christ.
Caiaphas: Profile of a Pragmatist (Gospel of John Part 35)
Text: John 11:45-54
Well we’re back in John’s Gospel this morning, and just as a quick reminder, Jesus has just done probably His greatest miracle during His earthly ministry. He’s raised Lazarus from the dead, after he had been dead for 4 days. In other words, He has proven, once and for all, that He is God in the flesh. That He is the Christ, the Messiah, the Promised Seed of the woman, who would be the Savior of the world. And that’s why John has written all this down for us. He wants us to believe. He wants us to know that these things really happened, and that Jesus is God. And throughout this Gospel account John has been showing us, what true faith is. He’s talked repeatedly about people who believed certain things about Jesus, but didn’t believe unto salvation. They had ideas about who Jesus was, and what He had come to do, but then when they were confronted with the truth about Jesus, they turned and walked away. And then He’s shown us pictures of people who truly did believe, and how their faith matures, and grows, as they learn more and more truth, and begin to see Jesus more and more clearly. And it’s through John’s Gospel that we get one of the clearest and best pictures of what true saving faith is, and what false faith is. He shows us how true saving faith presses onward toward the mark, whereas false faith, digresses, into apathy, un-repentant sin, and an eventual rejection of Christ.
So let’s go ahead and get right into our text this morning and see what God’s Word is saying to us.
(READ John 11:45-54)
Right off the bat there we see two responses… we see one of faith, and one of unbelief. Verses 45 and 46 tells us that many of the Jews believed in Him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Now I don’t know about yawl but I read that and I think to myself, “What is this? Jr. High School?” They go to the Pharisees and tattle on Jesus. So rather than speak directly to Jesus, these people think they are appealing to a higher authority. And unfortunately; this is just something people tend to do. And I don’t know exactly why they do this… maybe they think Jesus has too much power… maybe they think He’s in the wrong somehow, but it’s in direct contradiction of what the New Testament says about how we should deal with issues like this. The New Testament says, if you have something against someone, go and speak to them about it. If you disagree with them, talk to them, reason with them, hear their side of the story, and tell them where you’re coming from.
Why didn’t these Jews do that here? Well… most likely it’s because they don’t even care what Jesus has to say, and they don’t want to hear what He has to say. They’ve already made up their minds that they’re not going to hear what He has to say, and they’re just out to get Him. They’ve closed their hearts to Jesus, and their minds to the truth. And the Bible actually tells us that’s a dangerous place to be. And the thing is… rather than try to correct Him, and debate with Him, and reason with Him… they are afraid that Jesus is right, and they don’t want Him to be right. They don’t want what He’s saying to be the truth, because that would mean a change for them, and a call to repentance for them. But men love darkness rather than light, and don’t want to come into the light. That’s what is happening here. They go tell the Pharisees… And this of course results in a meeting between the Pharisees and the chief priests. They all get together and start talking about what they should do with Jesus, because they’re all scared of losing their authority, their positions of power, and their prominence. And probably their pay checks as well. And we know that’s exactly what they’re afraid of because in verse 48 they says, “…The Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
Now please think about this with me for a second… think about the context that this is in. These are the Jewish people… these are people who have had a long history of seeing God work in miraculous ways. From the flood, to the exodus, to David killing giants with his slingshot. To the prophets doing miracles, and God working through them.
These are people who have been waiting thousands and thousands of years for the promised Messiah to come, and Scripture told them exactly what they were to look for… He was to be born in Bethlehem, he would flee to Egypt and then return to Israel. He would do specific signs and wonders. He would heal the sick, and cast out demons, and give sight to the blind, and raise the dead. And the One who did all of these things, would be the Messiah – the Savior. And all these things are what Jesus has done.