Letters to the Prison - Week 133

Hello, everyone.  We hope you join our study of John.  If you need a Bible, ask for one!  Last week, we began to examine a stunning thing Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, said about Jesus --stunning and quite ironic, given the sort of man Caiaphas is.  So, the source of the statement is established… a criminally corrupt leader of the religious community.  But what does the statement mean?  Fortunately, we don’t have to spend much time speculating about that because John himself makes the significance of Caiaphas’ statement clear:
•He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.-John 11:51-52
When an author of Scripture, like John, offers a clear interpretation of what someone in history has said about Jesus, it is definitely wise to pay attention.  First, John notes that Caiaphas has predicted (accurately, by the way) that Jesus will die for the sake of the nation of Israel.  This is absolutely true.  Jesus is Israel’s Messiah:  The Anointed One predicted by all the Old Testament books (see Daniel 9, for example).  Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross atoned for all the sins of all Israelites ever who would believe in him in perfect fulfillment of God’s law.  Further, as John points out, Jesus’ death was not just for the nation of Israel but for all the children of God… who are described by Peter as being a “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9).  The book of Acts records the beginning of the Church –the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:24-26)— which is what emerges when God “gathers into one” his children (1 John 3:2) who are “scattered abroad…” both Jewish and Gentile believers (1st Corinthians 12:13).
So, Caiaphas, in his prideful and condescending explanation of why Jesus had to die, nevertheless –as High Priest-- actually and accurately predicted Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sake of all believers everywhere.  Caiaphas –thoroughly corrupt and arguably Jesus’ most bitter human enemy-- predicted the emergence of the Church and the ushering in of God’s Kingdom of believers in Jesus the Christ.  And quite unwittingly despite his murderous intent, which was made apparent in the very next verse:
•So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.-John 11:53
This, dear friends, is a dire object lesson in how even God’s enemies act –according to their own beliefs—in perfect accordance with God’s plan.  Peter would confirm this very thing during his sermon on the day the Church began (Acts 2:22-24).  So, even those who actively and intentionally resist the will of God are nevertheless participating in his perfect plan.  This should be a warning to anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to deny God and “do their own thing.”  It might also be a comfort to believers who are being persecuted by enemies of God to know that God has a purpose and a plan even for their enemies’ violence and hatred.
Jesus, knowing full well the intent of the religious leaders in Jerusalem to murder him:
•no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.  -John 11:54
Jesus left, but he didn’t stay away long.  God’s timing is perfect, as we will see.  We love you!

Dean A.

Recent

Archive

 2022
 November
A Day of Celebration?Letters to the Prison - Week 25Letters to the Prison - Week 26Letters to the Prison - Week 27Letters to the Prison - Week 28Letters to the Prison - Week 29Letters to the Prison - Week 30Letters to the Prison - Week 31Letters to the Prison - Week 32Letters to the Prison - Week 33Letters to the Prison - Week 34Letters to the Prison - Week 35Letters to the Prison - Week 36Letters to the Prison - Week 37Letters to the Prison - Week 38Letters to the Prison - Week 39Letters to the Prison - Week 40Letters to the Prison - Week 41Letters to the Prison - Week 44Letters to the Prison - Week 45Letters to the Prison - Week 46Letters to the Prison - Week 47Letters to the Prison - Week 48Letters to the Prison - Week 49Letters to the Prison - Week 50Letters to the Prison - Week 51Letters to the Prison - Week 52Letters to the Prison - Week 53Letters to the Prison - Week 54Letters to the Prison - Week 55Letters to the Prison - Week 56Letters to the Prison - Week 57Letters to the Prison - Week 58Letters to the Prison - Week 59Letters to the Prison - Week 60Letters to the Prison - Week 61Letters to the Prison - Week 62Letters to the Prison - Week 63Letters to the Prison - Week 64Letters to the Prison - Week 65Letters to the Prison - Week 66Letters to the Prison - Week 67Letters to the Prison - Week 68Letters to the Prison - Week 69Letters to the Prison - Week 70Letters to the Prison - Week 71Letters to the Prison - Week 72Letters to the Prison - Week 73Letters to the Prison - Week 74Letters to the Prison - Week 75Letters to the Prison - Week 76Letters to the Prison - Week 77Letters to the Prison - Week 78Letters to the Prison - Week 79Letters to the Prison - Week 80Letters to the Prison - Week 81Letters to the Prison - Week 82Letters to the Prison - Week 83Letters to the Prison - Week 84Letters to the Prison - Week 86Letters to the Prison - Week 87Letters to the Prison - Week 88Letters to the Prison - Week 89Letters to the Prison - Week 90Letters to the Prison - Week 91Letters to the Prison - Week 92Letters to the Prison - Week 93Letters to the Prison - Week 94Letters to the Prison - Week 95Letters to the Prison - Week 96Letters to the Prison - Week 97Letters to the Prison - Week 98Letters to the Prison - Week 99Letters to the Prison - Week 100Thanksgiving Blessing

Categories

Tags