Summary: Jesus in bringing life to someone who was dead causes the plot to kill Him but little did they know that the very plot they conjured up to kill Him will bring about eternal life.
47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the high council. They said, “What should we do? This man is doing many miraculous signs. 48 If we let him continue doing these things, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will come and take away our Temple and our nation.” 49 One of the men there was Caiaphas. He was the high priest that year. He said, “You people know nothing! 50 It is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed. But you don’t realize this.”
51 Caiaphas did not think of this himself. As that year’s high priest, he was really prophesying that Jesus would die for the Jewish people. 52 Yes, he would die for the Jewish people. But he would also die for God’s other children scattered all over the world. He would die to bring them all together and make them one people.
53 That day the Jewish leaders began planning to kill Jesus.
The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead caused an instant panic among the religious leaders concerning Jesus Christ. In their minds the miracle was not as important as was the possibility that a change may come and they would indeed have to relinquish the lofty positions they enjoyed so much. The Pharisees and the other religious leaders loved their position of privilege; they enjoyed their celebrity status. They were overly concerned about appearances and looking like big shots in the eyes of men. And you do know what a big shot is do you? He’s little shot from out of town. They were deftly afraid that Jesus was coming around to destroy their glory and so something had to be done.
They were jealous of Jesus, there’s a slight difference between jealousy and envy. They weren’t envious of Jesus because envy occurs when you want something that someone else has. And they really didn’t want what Jesus had—they were jealous of Jesus, because jealousy occurs when you fear the loss something you already have. Jealousy brings with it paranoia, insecurity, and fear. They were afraid that Jesus was about to take away their good thing.
And so here in the text, these jealous religious leaders were absolutely stunned at what just happened. They followed Jesus around and scrutinized everything He did or said but now to them He has gone too far, He actually brought a man who was dead back to life, Lazarus was not just dead—he was plumb dead. He lied in his tomb for four long days, and for sure rigor mortis had set in, all Jesus had to do is call out his name, “Lazarus, come forth” and there he was alive again.
The religious leaders tried desperately to discredit Jesus but this time they had to call a special meeting and the topic of the day was what should we do now? How were they going to explain away this miracle? Every one knew that Lazarus was dead—it was verified and certified that Lazarus was dead. There was a funeral for him, he was placed deep within a tomb but now he’s alive! They were always angry with Jesus but this time they were really angry. So angry in fact until they wanted to kill Him—Jesus in bringing life to someone who was dead causes the plot to kill him but little did they know that the very plot they conjured up to kill Him will bring about eternal life. And more close to home I might add their plot to kill Him will bring about eternal life for you and I.
The Chief Priests and Pharisees called together the Council, or "Sanhedrin." This strange group consisted of the Pharisee, the Sadducees, the Elders, and Caiaphas the High Priest. They didn’t question the signs and miracles of Jesus in particular because they were much more concerned about the huge following Jesus had. Jesus was a great to them He threatened their security, popularity, prestige and income. In short, they were all basket cases when it came to change, after all the enjoyed their status in the community and they were quite protective of it—change of any kind was greatly frowned upon by them and so they wanted to know what should they do now about Jesus?
1. They Had A Selfish Fear
These men were very selfish and selfish people are weak people, they are haunted day and night by the fear of losing of control of something. Selfishness is putting your goals, priorities and needs first before others and rather than living in a world with people, selfish people usually want all the people around them to live in their world. It seems as if selfishness is always derived from fear, for example, a robber is often willing to kill an innocent person for the money they have for fear of him being poor. A rapist makes sexual pleasure a priority for fear of being bored or even unwanted.