The Plot to Kill Jesus

Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?”57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him. — John 11:45-57.

Many Jews believe in Jesus, but some report Him to the Pharisees. They worry that a wave of public belief in Christ will weaken their religious power and influence in the eyes of the occupying Romans. The chief priests and Pharisees hold a council to decide how to put Him to death. Caiaphas, the high priest, unwittingly prophesies that Jesus will be put to death for the nation, and for sinners elsewhere who will become the children of God.

Jesus retreats in secret to Ephraim with His disciples. Passover is near, when Jerusalem will be full. Meanwhile the religious rulers command that anyone knowing where Jesus is should report it so they can seize Him.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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