Have Your Own Way, Jesus

John 11:45-57
Linda Alexander

45 Therefore, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

The passage for today starts with an important word…therefore.  This transition word links a previous activity with a result.  The previous activity in this case is found in vs. 45.  “Therefore, many of the Jew who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.”  Because of Jesus’ timing in coming to help out Mary and Martha and the raising of Lazarus from the dead, many Jews were turning to Jesus and believing in Him. The Kingdom of God was growing as many believed in faith in Jesus.  The result of this wonderful awakening of the Jews was that, “from that day on they (the Pharisees) plotted to take his (Jesus’) life.” vs 53.

As we read the scriptures today, the idea that many were turning in faith toward Jesus is very good news, but it wasn’t so for the Pharisees in Jesus’ time.  They interpreted what Jesus was doing in a different light.  Look at the pronouns they use in the following passage… “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (emphasis added) vs. 48.  To me the Pharisees sound like spoiled 2 year olds.  They don’t want anyone to come in and take away THEIR things and THEIR people.  They wanted to be the ones the Jews turned to for faith.  They wanted to be the ones in control with the power.

How often we do the same thing.  We want to be the one that saves the day, the one that all turn to for help, the one who has the power and control.  And when we can’t be that, we put up barriers for others to go around.  Instead, we need to rejoice when we see the winds of the Holy Spirit blowing through and changing lives.  We need to stand out of the way when Jesus is moving in a mighty way.  After all, when we are Christians, everything we have belongs to the Lord and everything we are is also the Lord’s.  Selfishness and pride squelches the Spirit of the Lord and causes death.

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, Please come in a mighty way.  Change us, use us for your ways and we will stand out of the way and give you all the credit and glory forever and ever.
Amen

 

Alexander-Linda

Linda Alexander
Professor of Education

John 11:45-57

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

 

About the author

Kelvin St. John

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