Summary: This passage which we have taken for our contemplation has many life values to learn. But let me share with you three practical life lessons.
Theme: One Dies for all
Text: John 11:45-57
Greetings; The Lord is Good and his love endures forever.
Joke: “A frog had fallen in love with human girls. No human girl touched him. So, he went to a Prophet.
Prophet said: Soon you are going to meet a beautiful young girl who wants to know all about you. The frog was so excited and asked the Prophet when and where. Prophet said: in her Biology Class” (Adopted).
The theme for this day is ‘One dies for all.’ This passage which we have taken for our contemplation has many life values to learn. But let me share with you three practical life lessons. First, let’s see the evil stratagem of men, secondly the eternal plan of God, thirdly evade mean people rather fighting with them.
The context of the text:
Apostle John presented Jesus as an embodiment of love, the good, truth, and grace. He has described him as light, bread, life, and the only way.
This immediate context of this passage is preceded by the raising of Lazarus from death and followed by a Passover feast. John accounts for three Passovers with Christ. During the first, Jesus cast out the money changers from the temple (John 2:13ff), During the second, Jesus fed more than five thousand (John 6:4ff). During the third, Jesus sacrificed himself as Passover Lamb (John 1:29, 1 Corinthians 5:7).
Now, let’s move to the first life lesson:
1. The evil stratagem of Men (John 11:45-48).
The Priests, Pharisees, Scribes, and religious heads of those days had vehemently opposed Jesus Christ. They had feelings of insecurity. They had a threat to their existence, threat to their system, organized patterns, threat to their leadership role, power, and enjoyment of positions, and possessions. In fact, they had enjoyed everything in the name of God, and religion. Now they were in a state of fear and frustration because of the arrival, development of the revolutionary leader and reformer. Caiaphas, the high priest, the son-in-law of Annas, was upset over recent developments. He was the one who had torn his clothes at the words of Jesus and declared Him guilty of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65).
They were afraid of losing their place and nation. The word “Our place” refers to the temple from which they derived their prestige, power, and wealth. The word “Our nation” refers to their revenue from people, the land, and all that composed the nation of Israel as belonging to them, as being their domain. Its natural leaders get agitated if someone comes with better qualifications, quality, character, strength, and with a clean heart. Always those who enjoy for a long time are disturbed to see the newcomers and try to eradicate, create intricate stories.
It's clear all through History, two groups of people who can’t exist without one another. One is religious leaders, and the second is political leaders. Both of them are identical many times, they are different in their attires but mostly attitudes are the same. But we can’t deny and suppress the facts that there are and were true sacrificial religious and political leaders throughout the history of humanity in human kingdoms. Also, they found it difficult to survive and overcome. One thing is sure and undeniable that always duplicates surpass the originals. The Pseudo would prevail over the real.
According to William Barclay, the Sanhedrin was composed of Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees’ sole interest was living according to every detail of the law. Sadducees were wealthy and aristocratic and intensely political. To retain their wealth, comfort, and position of authority, they collaborated with Rome. All priests were Sadducees. Sadducees always aimed to the retention of their political and social power and prestige. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, (The Wars of the Jews 2: 8, 14), "The behavior of the Sadducees to one another is rather rude, and their intercourse with their equals is rough, as with strangers."
You can also meet people who are insecure about their positions. Fear of the upcoming leaders, skillful persons. These people are found may be in your company, organization, in your career, your friendship circle. Be careful about their evil stratagem. They work against the progress of the common good of the community. Ultimately against the eternal plan of God. However, no one can twist the hand of God and stop his eternal works. God uses even the wicked leaders to accomplish his eternal purposes.
Now, let’s move to the second life lesson:
2. The Eternal Plan of God (John 11:49-52)
The Jewish belief was that when the High Priest asked God's counsel for the nation, God spoke through him. The High Priest was to be the channel of God's word to the leader and the nation (Numbers 27:18-21). God spoke through Caiaphas, though he was not a good high priest. Caiaphas spoke far more truth than he ever could have understood! But he said: “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, rather than have the whole nation perish” (John 11: 50).